Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Sad Day for the Polish and Americans

Today was the worst day for casualties that anyone can remember. Five Polish soldiers were killed in an IED attack on the highway. The EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) crew said that it must have been planted weeks ago before the ground froze, and the insurgents may have been waiting for Christmas time to detonate it for maximum effect. By the time they got to us, none of them had heartbeats.

I helped them place of the soldiers in a body bag. I won't describe it except to say that even his crewmates couldn't recognize him, and it was disturbing even for those of us who work in battlefield trauma bays. When you're praying for the U.S. soldiers, take a moment to include the Polish ones and their families as well.


Becky said...

I read an interview on CNN with a commander involved in pulling the final troops out of Iraq. The reporter asked him what his final words to his troops were, he said, "I told them they needed to take as good care of themselves at home as they did here". He said that since Februrary, he had lost more men at home to reckless behavior and accidents (including DUI's, and one suicide)than he had in the warzone. When I read this blog post I thought of that statement. I hope you never get so calloused that it doesn't bother you, but I truly hope that you and everyone on your team will be able to come home mentally and emotionally healthy as well.

What a downer comment, but you know I had to say something. :)

Lisa said...

I'm really sorry--what a senseless loss.

I appreciate what Becky said. Unfortunately, I spend some time with those that don't recover very well emotionally--and have lost several of my patients to suicide--and have lots that have pretty severe PTSD and substance abuse problems as well as RPG- and IED-induced blast injuries (in addition to those that got head injuries from stupid things like bar fights). Please keep sharing your experiences with us and writing about them--it can be quite protective psychologically and helps us remember the sacrifices of all of you there.

jbel said...

just catching up Matt- thanks for the updates on how you and everyone else are handling things over there.
i was always moved to tears when Drew told me about a solider, or soldiers, who came in already dead. when you guys are deployed it really hits home when you think that someone somewhere isn't getting to see their soldier come home through the front door. so sad. so thankful for all that everyone has given and will continue to give to the cause of freedom and peace for all.

The Kids