Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Medevac Stories.

So apparently it's not against the law to murder your children in this country. We picked up a ten-year-old girl with 2nd and 3rd degree burns covering about 90 percent of the body, including her face and mouth. It looked like a huge pot of boiling water was poured over her head. I guess that out in the sticks it's a popular form of punishment- pushing your kid in a fire or throwing hot liquid on them. The call came this morning, and it took the civilian hospital in Kabul about 4 hours to decide wether to admit the patient. We think they were just stalling, banking on her dying if they waiting long enough. And- by the way- she will die. Soon.

The Jalalabad crew picked her up from the base closest to her town, and we took her from J-bad to the hospital in Kabul. When I went to the J-bad aircraft to transfer the patient, mom and dad were sitting in the back seat looking as cute and concerned as could be. For a second I thought about not killing them both. I sure as heck didn't let them on my bird, though. They flew in our escort bird. It's such a crime that parents here can do that to children and not face some kind of legal consequences or something.

The little girl was stable throughout the flight. She was a mess though, sedated and intubated of course, and drugged out. I won't go into detail, but I doubt she will ever wake up. I'm really glad she at least made it to the hospital. I don't know how I would have handled that.

Anyhow- now for a more positive story.
The last 'exciting' mission I got was for two local guys way down south near Salerno. They got caught in a crossfire between some good guys and bad guys and got shot up. They laid in a ditch bleeding all night and all the next morning. I think it was like- about 12 or 13 hours before they were found and brought to a base for treatment. One guy was shot up on his arms and legs and gut, the other was shot in the neck and had a severed carotid artery. And yet they both lived and looked like they would have a full recovery. What the doctor thinks happened was that they got hypothermia from laying outside in a cold ditch. That made their blood pressure drop and their hearts and brains shut down, and also caused them to bloat up- which in turn constricted their injuries and helped stop their bleeding. Amazing, isn't it? Talk about miraculous. Not many people who have those kinds of wounds do so well, if they even survive. That's not even considering laying out with no treatment all night long. That neck shot guy was lucky to live ten minutes.

The things you see happen out here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Fro, Yo.

When I was on leave this summer I let my hair grow out a bit. I liked it and my wife really liked it. She had never seen me with hair that long before. No one has in about four years. So I decided to keep it going when I got back to Afghanistan. I get it cut on the sides as per Army regs and let it get longer and longer on the top top. First I brushed it forward, then it got too long for that so I parted it on the saide. Now it's too long for that so I comb it backwards. I get some odd looks from people around here because of it. Most guys keep it somewhere between bald and about a half inch. I've also got some nicknames from it- Swoopy, Fonzy, Hippie, Shaggy, Zuko and Travolta.

The other day a co-worker told me I was breaking the "hair rules" of the US Army. We looked them up in Army Regulation 670-1. Interestingly, it says that the way leadership is to judge different hair styles is whether it interferes with the wearing of helmets, hats, and gas-masks. Weird. Also we found out that "all hair styled must conform to the shape of the head." So everyone with a flat-top in the Army is actually wrong. Weird. And Stupid. Who cares anyway?

So should I put my hair up....

....Or down?
Neat and tidy. Very Armyish right?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Marked for Death

Isn't he cute? Sadly he is also condemned. Valli and I bought half of this pretty Angus steer (that's what we were told, anyway) for the freezer. I shall call him Buttercup. And when it's my turn to cook I will say: Honey, would you like, chicken, rabbit-food, or a juicy hunk of Buttercup? Or something.

Buttercup is currently enjoying the last few days of his short but happy life. He has been raised on a rotating pasture of all natural grasses and legumes with a few of his pals. They all wake up early and frolic and play until dark. He grew up on a little farm a few miles from Clarksville with dogs and miniature dairy goats. Buttercup has had a great life. And in about two weeks that life will be over. He will be divided into about 150 all-natural, growth-hormone, antibiotic-free pieces and stacked neatly in our freezer. I'm so excited! We are supporting our local little-guy economy, getting six to eight months of cheap, ultra-healthy, all natural, lean, tender beef. And let us not forget- sticking it to the polluting, greedy, degenerate gorcery superpowers!
Oh Buttercup, I could just eat you up!