One of the new Aeromed buses that was destroyed at Balad AFB hospital
I received this in an email from a Captain who works in the ICU at the 332 Evac hospital at Balad, Iraq. This hospital is the largest in the theater of operations,and moved out of tents into a permanent, hardened building only last Fall. I shudder to think what might have happened if they were still in those tents...
IMAGINE IF YOU WOULD
INCOMING, INCOMING sounds from the loud-speaker. You’ve heard them a hundred times. This time immediately after you hear the alarm, you feel the BOOM! It sounded like the rocket hit the new ten million dollar roof over the hospital. In my thoughts I thanked God we are safe. Everyone takes cover on the floor and wait to hear what happened.
We didn’t know it hadn’t hit the roof, it shook the entire building. The rocket actually fell about 50 feet from the hospital near the guard shack. It hit the Combat Aeromedical Staging Flight buses destroying 2 of the 4 buses used to transport patients to the airplane for Germany.
Most people were so frightened; I was really for the lack of better words, “pissed off”! Not like it couldn’t or wouldn’t happen here, but we care of some of the very people who everyday attempt to take our lives. It’s the closest I’ve been to an explosion and I have no desire to have it explode any closer to me.
While one doctor was crossing the street, he was hit by shrapnel in the thigh. He became the trauma call. A security guard was knocked out and had a ruptured ear drum. Everyone was ordered to put on their Individual Body Amour including the helmet to continue patient care.
The patients, family and parents had nothing to protect them, of sorts. I thought about the elderly grandmother here. Her house was destroyed by an IED which caused the house to collapse on her and her family. I wondered if she felt fear because she had experienced a direct fire attack on her home. Of her family members who were treated here, she was the most critical. She will recover, but it will be a very long recovery for her.
Pray without ceasing for, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. Bible Verse: Rev 20:12. Thank God for his word. It provides comfort in the time of need.
Our docs, nurses and medics are never far from the action, even in the largest facilty.