ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, June 13, 2005

Update from the Front Lines

Here's an update from my brother-in-law, now serving on the Front Lines of the War On Terror in Qatar/Iraq. Previous posts about him are here and here. He's probably going to rotate out of Qatar and into Iraq, switching with his team members that are already in Iraq.

Hello everyone,

I thought you all would like to read some articles on what we do over here and the importance of our jobs. Both articles are good. They discuss one of our Patients we moved who had a novalung. We actually moved two Patients on this new device they are using in Europe and the funny thing is it isn't approved in the US but it saved both of these young men's lives. So we are giving it a push to be approved by the Surgeon General for use in the US. Also to give you all a update I have been in country for 50 days I have 129 more to go. Our Team has moved over 1300 Patients by Air Evacuation and many more intra theater. We see many Battle Injuries and we also see many foreign nationals who have been injured by IED, GSW or other means. Our team has moved a couple children who were severly burned to the US for difinitive treatment - that was a good feeling to help the less fortunate. They were both Afgany girls and both survived and doing well. We are saving many the lives of many young men and women. Technology does help and the speed of communication of our highly trained medical personel makes all the diffrence. Almost all military attitudes and morale are high and we feel we our fighting for someone elses freedom - it truly is a sense of accomplishment. I am also doing well and morale is good. I also feel this is a great tour and that I am helping out alot. Thanks for all the support for my family and I. Also for support of our soldiers and sailors. Love you all family and friends.
Help me to remain strong and steadfast so that other are safe behind me.

Here are the two articles that my brother-in-law referred to. This article from the Charlotte Observer (userid, pw notgona)
and this one from Knight-Ridder (excerpted below). Be sure to look at the slideshow from the Charlotte Observer as well:
peed, technology have reduced mortality among U.S. troops
By Mark Washburn, Knight Ridder Newspapers Tue Jun 7, 2:06 PM ET

Iraq - First, the grievously wounded arrive for the flight on stretchers, some carried by volunteers who show up for special duty in the middle of the night after working on the base all day.

After the last stretcher is loaded aboard the military evacuation plane, the ambulatory patients prepare to ascend the ramp, one after the other.

Volunteers and staff from Camp Anaconda's tent hospital flank their path.

They clap vigorously and cheer loudly as the first patient appears, and they do this until the last one makes the climb, the circle closing, the salute echoing through the cavernous C-141 cargo plane.

This is the last sound the wounded American warriors hear in Iraq.

Speed, technology and advancements in armor have made the battlefield in Iraq one of the most survivable in the history of warfare:
  • A new blood-clotting powder for major bleeds has proved so effective that it's being issued for medical kits.
  • U.S. forces in the field are heavily populated with combat lifesavers, soldiers with training comparable to emergency paramedics back home.
  • A fleet of aircraft - including helicopters and cargo planes - is on call to rush casualties to medical care.
  • Physicians with advanced skills, such as neurosurgery and cardiology, practice in field hospitals.
  • In extreme cases, patients are flown to the storied military medical center in Landstuhl, Germany, within hours of their injuries, in airborne intensive-care units.
After two years, the U.S. death toll is rising toward 1,700, far lower than the 3,000-plus deaths estimated for the initial invasion.

Body armor saves lives, but explosions still leave hideous injuries.
Modern lifesaving techniques have reduced mortality dramatically among U.S. troops in Iraq over previous wars.

Revolutionary War / 4,435 / 42 percent
Civil War (Union Force)* / 140,414 / 33 percent
World War I / 53,402 / 21 percent
World War II / 291,557 / 30 percent
Korean War / 33,741 / 25 percent
Vietnam / 47,424 / 24 percent
Desert Storm / 147 / 24 percent
Operation Iraqi Freedom / 1,665** / 10 percent

*Authoritative statistics on Confederate forces aren't available.
** As of June 1; comprises killed in action, natural and accidental deaths.

The differences between Desert Storm and the War on Terror in terms of lethality of wounds is amazing.

Keep all of those serving our country in your prayers.

On the lighter side, my brother-in-law sent us this pic of him enjoying a little reminder of home (click on image for larger size):
Free Image Hosting at

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler