Thursday, November 03, 2005
3rd/112th Armor BN (FIST)
Panther S-5 (Civil Affairs Team)
56th Brigade Combat Team
36th Infantry DIV (
131,429 people around the world. That’s the latest estimate of people receiving the newsletter as of Sunday, 30OCT05. I wanted to start off this week’s newsletter by thanking everyone again for your Patriotism, continued support of the troops, and for your help in getting our word out. You all have truly made this deployment more enjoyable than you will ever know, at least for me. Since I’m the only knucklehead on the team to volunteer to come to
Unless you are “boots on the ground” in
Everyone is already aware the Iraqi Constitution passed with a record turn out. As I stated last week, even if it had not passed it still would have been a victory for the democratic process. The next hurdle for this monumental year will be the election in December of a new, full-term parliament. President Bush summed it up nicely, “The Iraqis are making inspiring progress toward building a democracy. By any standard or precedent of history,
“In the name of my peoples, I’d like to thank all…the American people for the sacrifices [for liberty]. The American nation should be deeply proud of its sons and daughters who have worked hard and who have fought hard for the best values of liberation and democracy in
Welcome to the “First Timers” receiving the newsletter. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to pass it around to as many people as you would like, that’s what it’s here for. Thanks for the continued support of the troops; we truly appreciate all the letters of encouragement, e-mails, and boxes. I will be more than happy to entertain any and all questions, comments, or requests. Finally, “if you can read this, thank a teacher, if you can read it in English, thank a Veteran.” Have a good week and Hook’em Horns, Paul.
We Americans of today, together with our Allies, are passing through a period of supreme test. It is a test of our courage-of our resolve-of our wisdom-our essential democracy. –
Just in case there are some of you out there who have no idea who we are, here is a team photo so you can put a face with names. Standing on the hummers holding the Texas Flag, SPC Khan and SPC Blanchard, standing l/r; SSG Pena, SSG Farr, 2LT Colicher, SSG Wasson, SFC Loud, and SPC Moses, kneeling is our Iraqi Interpreter
Unfortunately, we were only able to go out once this week. However, we did have a good day and the medics treated 70 civilians with various ailments. Pictured here is SSG Pena checking the blood pressure of an Iraqi man who suffered a stroke earlier in the year.
These two little girls were just sitting quietly watching what we were doing during one of our "road-side medicine" stops. Normally, as you’ll see in following pictures, if we stop for more than a few minutes we are swarmed with children of all ages begging us to either take their pictures or give them pens, pencils, toys, soccer balls, etc. These two were the exception.
SSG Pena with the help of our Iraqi Interpreter explains to an Iraqi civilian how to take medicine for an upset stomach. On this particular stop the chief complaint by the civilians was upset stomach. As I have explained in previous issues, many of the ailments of the Iraqi civilian population, especially in the rural areas, are intestinal problems. Much of this can be prevented with proper personal hygiene practices, but another cause is the non-availability of potable water.
The soldier in the green uniform is SPC Cole. He is a medic with the 1/108th AR, 48th INF BDE from
This is a picture taken the middle of July of a little guy's finger that suffered an electrocution burn to his left middle finger. The injury occurred about one month prior to this photo. The parents had taken the boy to a local clinic and the medical attendants told them there was nothing they could do. They said if they were to treat the injury the boy would get diabetes or cancer and die. Fearing those words, the parents opted to take the boy home and let “Allah” (God) do what he would with the boy.
We checked back on him about a month later and the finger looked better. The parents took him to an actual hospital and they were able to treat it. However, the Iraqi doctors placed a metal pin into the finger in an attempt to straighten the bone. This is a photo of SPC Blanchard cleaning and dressing the finger. He took the time to explain to the grandmother the steps necessary to clean it and bandage it.
Unfortunately, their attempt did not help. This picture was taken earlier today (Sunday, 30OCT05).
When he found out we were in the village looking for him, he ran from almost 1 kilometer to see us. Although his finger is deformed, he is just as happy as any other 8 year old.
SSG Pena and one of our Iraqi Interpreters discuss the health of this little guy. According to his father, he was treated for Jaundice when he was younger. The father fearing he was suffering from it again brought him to us shortly after our arrival in the village.
Due to the size of his stomach and other visible symptoms, SSG Pena believes this little guy now suffers from a large tape worm. But without being able to run necessary tests, he is not 100% positive.
Remember what I said earlier about stopping for more than a minute and being swarmed with kids. Here is just one instance we found ourselves in on this mission. As long as the children and adults are content with coming up to us and laughing and smiling and generally being friendly, I’m happy. I mentioned some of the
SSG Crump with the 1/108th AR, Georgia National Guard is seen taking in the surroundings..."Yep, this is definitely better than where we were," he commented to me.
This little Iraqi boy had the worse case of trench foot any of us had ever seen. It was so bad he had to be carried to the make-shift treatment table. SSG Pena is shown cutting away some of the dead skin.
SSG Pena continues to cut away the dead skin as SPC Cole applies a dressing to the other foot. Many of the Iraqi children choose not to wear shoes unless they are going to school. Because they regard their shoes as something of necessity, they don’t want to ruin them by playing outside in them. They would rather go barefoot than ruin their shoes, causing their parents to have to spend money on something other than food or fuel.
We have received several boxes of donated items from different people this week. I assure you the items will be distributed accordingly within the next couple of weeks. Right now is a period of slow transition for us and we’re not able to go out as often as I would like or anticipated. We are still in the tunnel, but starting to see little slivers of light. Many prior service members and war veterans know the most dangerous time of a deployment is the end, when troops begin to get complacent and think of things other than the mission at hand. I assure you, we continue to serve in the same professional military manner as when we first arrived. The guys are motivated to get home, but more motivated to get there in one piece…but only after our mission is complete and we’re told to get on the plane.
You know it was coming; How about them ‘Horns? All I can say is they are having an awesome year. All you other fans have your teams, but this year is the ‘Horns year.
This picture was sent to me by a proud mom and fellow Longhorn Fan. When she read one of my newsletters and realized how big a fan I am, she sent this and other pictures of her two boys. Shown here are Devin & Kelvin Cooper and the Coach of the
Keep it coming. Guys like you on the Net are our Samizdvat against the Media's Pravda.
When you get back to the States, just ask around about Iraq and the war. After you see & hear The Party Line we're hearing over here, take your own initiative.