Wednesday, July 25, 2007

They are all our Kids

On a recent post Homecoming, I talked about an e-mail that my friends granddaughter sent to family from Iraq.
She was with one of the Minnesota guard units that recently came home..
She can now get back to her life with her husband and with her education.
Like her Great Grandmother and her Grandmother she is planning on a nursing career.
This is just a small inkling of what our young kids and the Iraqi's are going through thanks to Bush and Company
Thank God many of them have come home safe.
The Minnesota Guard Units have the "distinction" of serving the longest in Iraq.
I just pray none of them ever have to go back.
I want to thank her for allowing me to post this.

May 31, 2007

Dear and wonderful family and friends,

Hi! It’s the last day of May and also time for one of my last mass email updates. I hope you are all soaking in some beautiful rays where you are. I know I am! The temperatures have been between 115-125 degrees for the last week here. Steamy! We might be crazy, but my friends and I make it a point to walk to lunch every day, which is just over a mile each way. That way we know we are really experiencing the heat of Iraq. Strange, I know.

How are you all doing? I am getting extremely excited to see you all again. Word from higher is that we will be home in Minnesota by the third week in July. I can’t wait! I have plans to spend time with many of you and I hope to see you all again soon.

I had an excellent time working in the hospital at Balad. I worked in the ICU and stayed very busy. The hospital has three ICU units and I had the chance to work in all three. ICU 1 is strictly for U.S. soldiers and contractors. I found this ICU to be the most heart-wrenching place to work, for obvious reasons. One of the young soldiers who I helped had both of his legs amputated. He woke up over 30 times during my shift, each time realizing as if for the first time that he no longer had legs. His crying led to many tears on the part of many the ICU staff. This was such an emotional experience for all of us working there.

ICU 2 is where Iraqi pediatric patients recover. I really enjoyed working in this unit because many of the children made such great progress while I worked there. Their stories are very sad, and we had the opportunity to talk to their parents too. I can’t imagine what it must be like to one moment be playing in your backyard and to suddenly wake up in the hospital with a huge piece of shrapnel in your head. I am attaching a few pictures of the children and families I worked with while I was in Balad. I found the Iraqi parents and family members to be friendly and very concerned for their children.

ICU3 houses the adult Iraqi patients, whether they are Iraqi Army, civilians or even detainees. For the most part, we knew very little about these adult patients, mainly because there were very few visiting family members and our patients were so critically injured that communication often wasn’t possible. Although detainees were given the same standard of medical care, many of us had mixed emotions in having to help someone who had just tried to injure our soldiers.

Hmm, this is sounding like a very depressing email, isn’t it?! Yes, working in the hospital has been both very challenging and rewarding. My overwhelming feeling is that it’s sad to see all of the effects this war is having on both Americans and Iraqis. At the same time, the optimist in me tries to see the positive interactions I’ve had with Iraqis and the medical experience I am gaining while working here.

Enough said. I just hope that you are all there treasuring every moment you have to see your loved ones and to enjoy your lives. I can’t wait to be on that side of the ocean with you again.

Love you all,


alan said...

There are tears rolling down my old cheeks right now...

Tears of happiness that she is home and safe...

Tears of sadness that she was ever there at all...

Tears of rage that so many don't get to come home at all!

Thank you for sharing this!


HAR said...


This post was unexpected. It is the first time I was jolted into the reality that these are real people and not just statistics from a newscast.
It is easy to continue living and not pay as much attention to what is going on in the world if it doesn't directly have an effect on you personally.
Thanks for sharing this. It is just what I needed to see to appreciate my life and those very real soldiers fighting for our country, whether I agree with this fucked up war or not.

yellowdog granny said...

that just breaks my proud we must all be for them to give so much and receive so little in return

Von Krankipantzen said...

Here by way of HAR. What a letter. She is one brave gal.