06 November 2009

Helping the troops and families at Ft. Hood

If you are in the South/Central TX area, you can help the injured troops and civilians from Ft. Hood by donating blood and platelets.

here are some locations where you can donate:

Scott and White Hospital:


The Akeroyd Blood Donor Center at Ft. Sam Houston is open Monday through Friday 7:30 - 2:00 p.m. for walk-ins.Appointments are also available during duty hours. Blood drives can be scheduled on the weekend with prior approval.
Please call 210-295-4655 to make an appointment or schedule a group or unit blood drive.
They will take civilian donors as well.

The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is also doing their part to help with the wounded. The organization has sent 10 units of blood to Scott & White Hospital in Temple along with 6 units to the Austin Blood Center.
Currently, the community supply is in need of platelet donations. Call STBTC to schedule an appointment at 731-5590.

Also, I'd like to spread the word about one place where citizens can donate. Here is an email, reprinted in full, that Mike with Take a Soldier Fishing sent me:

(begin quote)

Hello everyone. Some of you may get this email a couple of times due to the way that my Outlook is set up, please forgive me. Our operations are based next to Ft Hood and this tragedy hits very close to home. For anyone that has a passion for the military men and women this type of thing hits hard. Especially if you know someone that is stationed here. I am sending out this email as a way that you can make a specific difference in the lives of the victims of this shooting. We are asking for monetary donations to directly help the families that are affected. There are a number of organizations that are showing support and we all know that the holidays are coming soon. Some of these families will be without someone, making it even more difficult. Children will need gifts, turkey dinners, Christmas dinners and so on. You get the picture. If anyone of you know who I am, you know that I hate the need to be RE-active VS. being PRO-active but here we are as the picture unfolds before us. The fact of the matter is there are families that now have someone missing and they need our support. Forget the media for now and they why and the how come and let's band together and make a difference. Together we can make a difference in these soldiers and families life. They were brought to the war front prematurely and without being armed and no one ever says that is bound to happen...but it did. Now is the time to be reactive and help who we can right now and let our soldiers overseas know that America is still behind them no matter where they are.
Please pass this email around to all of your friends and to their friends and so on. Please donate to help this effort so that we can help these families. This is what we are about -- SOLDIERS HELPING SOLDIERS --
Please keep these soldiers and their families in your heart and prayers.
We will be accepting donations to support the families in the aftermath to help them pick up the pieces and help them move forward. When making a donation please annotate "FT HOOD" on the donation.
For PayPal or Credit Card you can go here:
If mailing a check please make the check out to:
Combat Warrior Crisis Network
3450 FM 1829
Gatesville, Tx 76528
Together we can make a difference!
Mike Nashif

Mike Nashif - President
Combat Warrior Crisis Network
Freedom Isn't Free!

(end quote)

05 November 2009


To the families of the fallen and wounded at Ft. Hood,

I send you condolences and and good wishes from me and my family. This is not fair. You deserved better. You willingly chose to serve our country and protect all of us. You brave heroes didn't deserve a traitor's bullet.

As a doctor and a veteran I am outraged and disgusted at the murderous actions of the shooter. No trauma or ideology could justify your betrayal of office and medical profession. You have shamed us all.

America survives this, but we carry the sorrow.

new guidelines for wear of PTU

The Air Force has released new guidelines for the wear of the physical training uniform. (PTU)

If you can't think of any reason to thank a troop, read this small sampling of the daily life of an airman:


Thank you very much!

02 November 2009

16/365 Save a veteran's life

Veteran deaths due to suicide have surpassed combat deaths in OIF.

An estimated 18 of the 25 million US veterans commits suicide every day.


This is over 5000 suicides each year.

Ask the hard questions.

Look out for your wingman. Look out for your family.

Call if you or someone you love needs help.

National Suicide Prevention hotline: (800)-273-TALK (8255).

Connect with people who understand what you are going through at Not Alone:


See videos based on troops lost to suicide, learn the signs at Wingman Project


They've been heroes for us, be a hero for them.

01 November 2009

Memorial Medical Center after Katrina, Revisited

(The Helipad of Memorial Medical Center, the last point of departure for critically ill patients during evacuation. Source: NYT)

I'm writing a presentation on Disaster Planning. Since I've last addressed this topic, Dr. Sheri Fink has written an incredible account of the difficult choices faced by the doctors and nurses of Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina stranded the staff and patients without power, supplies, or easy exit.

The article is 18 pages long, but with numerous first-person accounts, it is the most revealing study on the topic I have read.


Dr. Fink has also written "War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival"


#15 Valour-IT Hi Tech for injured troops

(graphic from www.coxandforkum.com / soldiers' angels )

Now I've already mentioned Soldiers' Angels in #1, but get on over there to check out their program: VALOUR-IT

Soldiers'Angels is running an auction and fundraiser to help donate information technology aids to injured troops:

- voice controlled laptops for troops who have lost use of hands

- personalized gps to help troops with traumatic brain injury and memory loss make it to the places they go every day

- here's a cool one: Wii platform games for whole body video-game modelled rehab and PT

a note on the last one: it works! at the hospital in Balad, we had a Wii game set up on the ward, and we would use it for both troops and Iraqi patients as they recovered use of their bodies after injuries. It was great to have it out in the open where all the patients could see who was working out: their curiosity always got the better of them and we were able to convince the more hesitant patients to get their butts out of bed and start to claw their way back to health.

Our Iraq translators got pretty good at the games and it was darn near impossible to beat them at Wii bowling.

Last but not least, here is a blog you have to check out:

Kathi is a true dedicated patriot and lifelong supporter of our troops. I was fascinated as I read about all of the communities she is involved in to help show the troops that we back at home remember them.

Take care!