Saturday, July 07, 2007

Soldiers' Angels and Soldiers Around the Net

Besides the main website for Soldiers' Angels , several Angels around the country keep "blogs" or Myspace accounts where the post stories of interest about our military or about Angel activities. These links appear on the right hand side bar below "Military Blogs".

Here are some of the things that Angels have been up to.

Reporting from Afghanistan, Dustoff Salerno reports on action from the front as he is called into take care of a casualty:

&*^%%$ almost got shot today.

We got called for a 5-patient mission. I grabbed a Special Forces medic to come with me. We get put into the LZ [Landing Zone] as the infantry guys are bombing the sh*t out of the mountain.

After putting us down my dustoff bird takes off and goes into a holding pattern. I link with a commo guy and he tells me someone from the fire team is coming down the hill a little to meet up with me to take me up to the causalities.

We start moving with the other flight medic, the SF medic, 4 infantry guys, our photographer and me. We have moved 75 meters up hill and we start hearing a whizzing sound and then bullets ripping through leaves. We all hit the deck and find cover.

I start calling to my dustoff bird on the radio telling them we are pinned down so it might be a while for us to get to the patients. Out of nowhere the Apache hovers above us and starts firing about 10 rockets and some bullets.

Well, 10 minutes and some bullets later we are moving again. We link up with the first set of causalities. Nothing too bad... but not good.

Soldiers' Angels New York was at the Ft Drum Salmon Run Mall

Sunday, July 1st, Soldiers' Angels was invited to participate in a special Fort Drum Appreciation Day at the Salmon Run Mall in Watertown, NY. We had two 4' x 8' banners for people to sign, along with an info table and cards for the deck of cards project.

We met many soldiers and their families. One soldier was home on R&R and came over to speak with us. He said he had received one of our mugs in Iraq. He didn't really know what Soldiers' Angels was, but he liked the mug and thought the logo was cool. He told us he carries it everywhere and he can't wait to tell the other guys when he goes back that he met real life Soldiers' Angels.

Soldiers' Angels Meet and Greet at DFW

The Dallas Group of Soldiers Angels did their monthly meet & greet the troops at DFW yesterday. They handed out 250 bags of goodies to those soldiers returning home for R & R. The plane arrived yesterday morning about 7 a.m. There were 6 angels there.

Melissa Kelly one of our Angels got to meet a soldier that she had been writing to on the Letter Writing Team. All the angels got to shake his hand and say thanks. Melissa found out he wasn't assigned to an angel and she adopted him right there on the spot. Next meet and greet for the Dallas area is July 22, 2007. The dog in the picture is Boomer and proudly wears a Soldiers' Angels pin on his collar.

12th Flight

Had my 12th flight this morning, a Marine with injuries from and IED. Flight was smooth, rode in a CH-46, which was unusual since most night flights are done in the Blackhawks. Nice to have the extra room.

This was an interesting night (Saturday). Started late, with a TCN (third country national- not Iraqi or American) female who realized she was pregnant as the 1st of 2 children arrived. Regretfully, they were way too premature, and neither were able to survive. At the same time, 2 Marines that were injured by an IED arrived, one with severe (as severe as you can get) leg injuries, and the other with general shrapnel wounds. Both made it through surgery and will make it. Then another patient arrived (I'm going to be purposefully even more vague on this one), who received surgery and joined the 2 Marines and the mother in being flown out in multiple aircraft. Just like that, 3 nurse flights, and one really long night.

I wonder if we will look back as this night being the beginning of our summer surge in business?

Desert Flier's Independence Day

Big voice booms "Clear all roads from Trooper Gate to Charlie Medical. I say again clear all roads from Trooper Gate to Charlie Medical."
Iraqi civilians were struck by a VBIED that was gunning for an Iraqi Police checkpoint. Two families in a big minivan, including seven children! All survived and were treated by Charlie Medical for minor and deep lacerations. It looked like a mess when they came in, but after getting wounds washed out, sutured, and clean sets of clothes for everyone, things shaped up to be a lot better than it could have. One little girl had a severed wrist tendon, and she was taken to the OR for repair. The whole family was released late in the afternoon with a few big bags of toys and extra blankets for the kids. Before they left, we gave the toddlers some Fourth of July cake. From how much ended up on their face and in their hair, I think they really like it! We all knew they were back to normal when they started chucking cake around patient hold...

Tim, D squared, and I had just enough time after the case to walk to the Alamo (3rd Infantry Division Headquarters) for a Battalion cookout and Fourth of July talent show. I'll say this much: entertaining.

Our day culminated in Eric, D squared, and I climbing up for a better view of the Ar Ramadi Fireworks Show. Evoking images similar to what Francis Scott Key witnessed at Fort Henry when he penned the Star Spangled Banner, Palladin artillery sent up volley after volley of illumination and signal shells for about fifteen minutes. The Star Spangled Banner, originally written as a poem, and later adopted as the United States National Anthem, was inspired by Key as Fort Henry was being pummeled by the British in the War of 1812.

Our Independence Day display of bombs bursting in air was reminiscent to the display our forefathers and young Nation saw 195 years ago. I couldn't have asked for a more authentic celebration of National pride, tradition, and freedom.

Doc In the Box, Navy Medic is home from Iraq and notes: I don't enjoy fireworks anymore

I missed the 4th last year being in the middle of an Iraqi vacation and I didn’t notice any problems the year before watching the fireworks with my soon to be wife and son. But this year, I noticed that part of my brain was looking for hard objects to hide behind and another part was subconsciously doing measurements of size, direction and how much ground shake there was. I guess I did carry some baggage back with me from Iraq.

- May no soldier go unloved