I know its been some time since I have posted anything, Things have been crazy to say the least. So ill leave you with a little update.
I have finally gotten away from the hell hole known as Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Now don’t get me wrong, ill miss a lot of those people that I met but that place really dragged me down. I was able to increase my knowledge but as I soon found out shortly after I left there could have been a lot more learning going on in that place. Theres no trust in medics there. Everything is run by hospital staff and I fell by the wayside. Medics were not important there. There was no progress being made, in fact it was the opposite. I lost a lot of tactical medical knowledge. But none the less I left, on to bigger and better things. I actually got to go back to being a medic. It was a good experience to show me that I should stay away from those types of postings. I left with no PCS award for my year and a half of hard work there and hardly a thank you from my supervisor…good riddance. Like I said im off to bigger and better things.
I was off to Flight medic school. I packed all of my belongings into a 4 x 8 trailer and off I went for Alabama. That was the furthest I had ever driven by myself. It finally turned out to be a 16 hour drive through thunderstorms, pouring rain and tornados but I made it. I made it to a small base in the middle of no where to learn everything I could about being a flight medic. It was a remote base with very little to do off base. We were staffed in a small run down Econolodge, of course there wasn’t much better in the area so I guess we had to do the best with what we got. As soon as day one started it was “drink through a fire hose”. There was so much information passed to us that it was completely overwhelming. Before I got there I felt I was a pretty damn good medic. That quickly changed as our first day drew to a close. Its not that they made us feel dumb by any means, but it was like going from little league to the majors in about a week. A very sobering experience when your dealing with the reality of a lot of the situations that we will be faced with. Were the only medical authority up there and when everything goes to hell in a handbag you have to know what to do to try to save that persons life. So everyday we started at 0530 and ended at about 5 pm then went back to our rooms and studied in our teams for another few hours. There was so much stress on us but we handled it the best we could. 18 hour days can really get to you after awhile. It was relentless for 26 days. Now 26 days might not sound like a long time to learn the things we learned but it was grueling and challenging but also very rewarding. My job will consist of a lot of different aspects. When a soldier or local national that gets injured on the battle field will be treated by the ground medic by basic medical aid then they call in a “9 line” its basically a call for us to come get him and take him to a higher level of care. We scramble and fly to go get him, often while the fight is still going on. Well fly into a landing zone under fire to get him, package him up and get him on that helicopter and fly him to the right hospital. While in flight we can push medications, and perform medical interventions that normally would only be done by a physician, in hopes that we can save his life. Its high stress but a justified stress if that makes any sense. We graduated with 6 less than we started with, and were awarded our flight wings. Then it was off to North Carolina for my next duty station.
Another 12 hour drive and I arrived in a very different North Carolina then I expected. I knew things were going to be drastically different but little did I know what was ahead of me. I dropped off all my stuff in a storage unit and was met by an old friend from my first duty station. I stayed at his place for the night and was on a plane home the next morning bright and early. I arrived at the airport to see my beautiful fiancé. We were to get married while I was home, nothing big, just small and quick with only a few people. It was absolutely amazing, she looked beautiful and we were married by my best friend at a small winery. I will remember that day for the rest of my life, the way she looked, the way the sun was, the way the wine tasted, the big white flower in her hair. I was on cloud 9.
After my short time at home it was back on a plane and back to Fort Bragg. I started my in processing into the base and my unit. Ill admit I was overwhelmed at first, this place works a lot differently than any other place ive been before. There’s a hell of a lot of pride here. I found an apartment to move into in a nice area away from all the mess of the downtown area, its pretty close to my airfield too. I Started flying not too long later and there’s a lot to know about flying as well. Theres a lot to know and a lot to do, its not just a taxi ride for us, we have to constantly be working while were flying. Soon my wife Wendi arrived here and I couldn’t be happier that she got here.
There’s a road that im on that will be here shortly. In 4 months ill be in Afghanistan for over a year, and its expected to be pretty busy…unfortunately. To be honest I am nervous about this deployment, my last one was a lot different. I lost a great friend on my last one. Now im going to be seeing a lot more…multiple per day. I know its going to be emotionally draining and test everything that I am but I think im up for it. This is what I worked so hard for such a long time. I hope im still as passionate about it toward the end as I am now. I feel awful about leaving my wife but she’s an incredible woman and she will make it through anything.
So there you have it… not too much detail but a lot going on. I hope your all doing well and you should be hearing more from me as the deployment approaches. Time to keep this going for another deployment…