Thursday, June 28, 2007

MySpace, courage, and an amazing young Marine

My buddy RJ is a Navy doc in Iraq. He's been volunteering at the base CSH ER to help out. He wrote this incredible story the other day.

Working in the hospital has been an amazing experience for me. I get to help Iraqi and American Marines and Soldiers and keep my clinical and emergency skills sharp, but sometimes the best lessons I learn through the stories that come out of that place - stories of strength and hope.

A young Marine was critically injured in an IED blast a few days ago. This Marine lived to serve his country. (The doctors found his dog tags, social security number and blood type tattooed on his chest.) He lost both of his legs and one of his arms in the explosion and was in a coma for a few days before eventually coming to in the ICU. He was unable to talk, but gestured for a pen and paper. He scribbled on the paper with his left hand as best he could a name and a password.

The doctors and nurses looked confused. He then took a second piece of paper and wrote “This is my user name and password. Can you please log on to my My Space Profile and create a posting for me saying that it’s going to take a lot more than that to kill me!” Unbelievable. His next sentence was “I lost both of my legs didn’t I?”

This young man's life has changed forever, and he will face challenges that most of us can't even begin to comprehend. But I have a feeeling that he's going to make it through.

May God Bless you and keep you, my young friend. Thank you for your courage, your sacrifice and your inspiration to the rest of us.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Here's to all those Fathers who left home to defend their own families....and ours. Happy Father's Day

Friday, June 15, 2007

GO MOM - When lady medics take care of our guys

I just got an email from Major Terri O, at the 399th CSH. They are are a reserve unit, and have been over there for about a year now. One thing I've picked up from talking to lots of medical people is that a lot of reservists have been doing this for a long time, and have lots and lots ofexperience. One Doc I talk to is a Vietnam Vet and my age. Jeeps, it would kill me to be trudging around those rocks and sand and all, and I don't know how he does it.

Anyway, Terri wrote "the young soldiers/ marines get a kick and a laugh when they see how much we like to pamper them, they can't believe it. I tell our US patients that there is one really good thing about a Reserve Hospital and one bad thing. We have thousands of years of experience and we like to GO MOM on them. When i tell them that, they say they really appreciate it. "

I just like the heck out of that: GO MOM as a medical treatment approach. So here's to all my lady medic friends, thanks for being Moms when our guys need one.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Just before Memorial Day a few weeks ago, I was headed into the post office. A reporter from the local paper: the Kane County Chronicle - was doing man in the street interviews on "what does Memorial Day mean to you". Well, they picked the right guy for that! I also gave him my Soldier's Angels business card and suggested that if they ever have a slow news day over at the paper, to call me up.

Sure enough, last week he called and wanted to do a story on Soldier's Angels. The reporter was very thorough - he even tracked down Patti and talked to her by phone. He asked for one of my medical contacts and emailed him some questions, too. I thought he did a nice job of the article - made it about Soldier's Angels and what we're doing, rather than just focus on one person's role.

So I checked the paper's website and there was the story.

I am happy to note that a local newspaper, (and the Kane Country Chronicle has tens of thousands of readers) can write a story about supporting our troops without adding rhetoric against the war, or the military or the government. You know; report the news in an impartial and professional manner. It would be nice if the national media could take note and learn a thing or two.

Anyway, I ran down to the local drugstore to buy a copy of the paper and to my surprise, this story (and my face) were on the front page. I couldn't resist pointing it out to the pretty young cashier, who gushed "ohmigod, that's you!". Then I got home and saw I had an email from the local radio station - they saw the article and wanted to interview me the very next day! I called them up and they said "too late, we already filled the time slot". I asked if maybe we could do it another day? Nah.

I guess it's just as well. Now I can fade back into obscurity and go out in public again without throngs of women chasing me for an autograph. Well, ok, that didn't actually happen but it was kinda nice to imagine.


Friday, June 08, 2007

What do our brave fighting men in the 1-182 Field Artillery Need Most?


That's what I said when their medic emailed me asking for Vagisil.

"There is one thing I would like to request if you can. On the road soldiers suffer from cases of trench foot the powder doesn't help... the cure is Vagisil. It works better than Tinactin, and it lasts."

So take that, John Madden.

Of course, this means I had to run to the drug store and, yes, once again buy feminine hygeine products by the case. Vagisil was on sale, so I bought the place out of regular and extra-strength tubes. I also picked up all the generic brand they had there - same exact ingredients, so I guess it ought to work OK.

As the cashier, a middle-aged and very nice lady, rang it up she didn't bat an eye. She knows I buy stuff to send to soldiers all the time. She was too professional to ask, so I finally just told her what it was for.

She said "thank goodness you told me, I'd have been wondering all night!".

My buddy Jim at the post office is another Vietnam vet and I made sure to go to his window so I could tell him the whole story. He loved it.


Saturday, June 02, 2007


I got the idea to build these when one of my CSH's asked me to send them bird seed to feed the insurgent sparrows that flocked around their place.

I'm retired, with way too much time on my hands, I build birdhouses as a hobby, and it all sort of clicked.

Besides the four branches of service pictured above, I can handle requests for special units, like the 82nd Airborne.

These houses are not just decorative, but are real and functional, painted with exterior-grade paint and built to Audubon recommended guidelines.

A portion of the profit gets donated to support our work at Soldier's Angels, the rest goes to support the care packages I send to troops on my own. If you're interested, visit HERE to find out more.

or copy and past the following URL
Just click on "garden" in the "store categories" column on the left to see the houses.