Sept 28, 2007
Today started very early, as there was a military exercise that caused the base to be shut down for a couple hours and so I would be able to get on to the base I left home at 0615.
The base was already in ready mode with the extra security in place. I got on with little trouble, but those that were less than 15 minutes behind me got stuck. As I was walking across the parking lot I noticed two flashlights flashing in my direction. The lights were coming from the German guards ID shack. As I walked up to them they were smiling saying that they were lighting the way for me. We joke, tease and have had some good talks with each other several times a day so we have gotten to know each other pretty good.
The first flight was not due in for several hours, so several of us just hung out at the bus stop talking and watching the security folks do their thing.
All of the sudden there was a large bang that set off the exercise that simulated a package being thrown. The last time I heard anything like that was in Bosnia. I decided to go inside the hospital and grab some hot chocolate and then maybe go to work if time would pass a little faster than what it seemed to be. When we came back outside they had their mass causality victims right outside so we sat and watched them for a little while since we still had lots of time before we had to start our respective jobs. Since LRMC is an Army hospital and there are Navy, Army, Marine and AF working here I got feedback from the different troops about how the respective services train and handle these exercises.
It was finally time to go to work. Our flight was arriving during the exercise so by the time the patients got through their briefings and got to me I was more than ready for them. The other volunteers did not manage to get in until 11 or 11:30 due to the exercise. The chaplain’s staff was not able to bring in items from the warehouse since the day was spent with ICU patients and the exercise.
The Romanian Colonel came down and asked us for desert boots. The WWMC does not carry uniform items, but I told him how he could get those items. He said he did not wish to go back to his homeland with out being in full uniform. One of the liaisons from the 10th Mountain was there and I asked him about the boots and he asked what size. It is amazing how some of these liaisons wish to help these wounded. It just happened to be that he had a pair that fit the Romanian Colonel and we set a time to come in on Saturday to hand them over.
I did give him some gloves for his hands that will keep them warm and are great for the wheel chair.
I worked 11 hours today in thanks to Kim Hritz and her contribution to my trip.