Progress contines here at FOB Salerno. A long, hot summer continues, but so does progress.
We got some good press last week. BBC news was here in Afghanistan reporting on the progress of the war. They did a story on the mother and baby we treated recently after she was shot in the abdomen. It's a very good story and it was also picked up by ABC News (and maybe some others I'm not aware of yet).
Check out these links to the story on BBC News and ABC News.
ABC News: Survival in the Middle East:
BBC News: US Troops in Dramatic Rescue.
Now, the funny thing is, they could do these stories every day. Every day the news media could do stories on the good things we are doing here in Afghanistan or Iraq or in any country where US Forces are currently serving. I can see the headlines now: hospitals opened, schools opened, roads built, lives changed and hope restored. Instead, they choose to focus on our mistakes or failures. It can be frustrating, knowing the truth and seeing the reports. But I guess that's the price of a free press.
I can't speak for everywhere, but I know what we do here at FOB Salerno. We have a mandate to treat any patient if their injury is caused by Coalition Forces, and we provide the same level of care to everyone; US or Afghan, men, women and children, young or old, enemy or friendly. But, above and beyond this care, I can personally name many children we have treated; with burns, gunshot wounds, amputations, sharpnel wounds, falls and vehicle accidents. And these injuries were not caused by Coalition Forces. They are just everyday tragedies that occur in a violent, dangerous country. Still, we treat those we can, and we train the Afghan doctors and nurses to care for their own better, so that when we leave they will do well on their own. We are building independence, not dependence on US Forces.
Here are three children in our Local National Clinic. Every morning this clinic is full of Afghans seeking care. But we don't just treat the patients, we train Afghan doctors to care for Afghan patients better, so when we are gone they will still be here caring for their own people.
And we do have some long-term patients. This little boy spent over 6 weeks in our ICU. His wounds have healed, but now he's got a long road recovering from those wounds and getting healthy. So, we're working with him and his family to ensure the best possible outcome for him. The future of Afghanistan is in the hands of his generation, so we do whatever we can to ensure his future.
And since we're going to be here for a long time, we continue to build and improve our position. The new hospital is coming along well. Here's a picture of the front door of the new hospital. It will get prettier in time!
Our new Brick and Mortar building is coming along also. I took a few pictures of the roof construction. Before long we will be out of tents completely!
Finally, I got off the FOB again recently and got a few pictures of the Afghan countryside. It's a beautiful country, with unlimited potential. If only they could learn to settle their differences with words instead of guns.
Thank you for your support and encouragement. Please remember those wounded in combat, whether they have visible injuries or not. And remember the families of the deployed Soldiers; they have the hardest job of all.