14 November 2009

19/365 Bring a troop home for Thanksgiving: your home

When Meredith and I were in San Antonio, we knew we were living a few miles from the site where all the new Airmen were going through basic training. For those who did the 8 week course over November, they might be missing Thanksgiving with their family for the first time. Most of them are very young.

The base organized a program where local families could welcome basic trainees into their home for a Thanksgiving dinner. The two young women who came home with us were very quiet and respectful the whole time we had them over. They seemed so young, like the kids just out of high school that they were.

Their needs were simple. They just wanted to be allowed to sit down for a few hours without someone yelling at them! They loved a chance to sit back and watch TV in peace. They both had people they wanted to call so one got the home phone, one got the cell phone and they got in touch with family and friends.

They left with bellies full and seemed relaxed. It had been so easy to have them over, and Meredith and I really felt like we had given them a treat.

If you live near San Antonio, you could invite a troop for Thanksgiving. There is information here:


or call 671-5453, 671-5454 or 671-3701 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I know this program is run in many cities where there is a large base. If you live near one, check it out!

Voting supports the troops 18/365

This blog post is to tell you a simple, but very important way we can support troops.


The vote is one of our most precious rights. Soldiers have fought for us to preserve this right ever since there was a US constitution to defend. By voting, we are acknowledging the value of this gift.

Also, when picking your candidate, pay attention to how they have treated the troops in the past, and how they intend to support them. It's a good way to see who has their priorities straight. It matters to me when I know that a candidate has served themselves or has children who are serving. I know that they will have a personal experience to ground them as the consider whether it is really truly necessary to put those brave lives on the line.

I know voting has just passed this year, but as long as America is here, it will be coming around again! So honor veterans' sacrifice by voting.

12 November 2009

Delayed Veteran's day wishes, and a book!

Well, it's midnight on the 12th, and I'm finally getting a chance to write.

It has been a string of busy days that have had me operating past 10pm. Today, I attended a day-long seminar entitled "The Geisinger Experience" so I have had a week full of both theory and practice!

Thank you to all the kind friends who wished me a happy Veteran's Day. I would like to echo those sentiments and express the admiration and appreciation my family and I have for veterans past and present.

I want to call attention to one veteran in particular. Dr. Harriet Hall is a retired Air Force physician:


She was the second woman ever to have an Air Force residency. Her long military career spanned many stations across the globe. She worked as a flight surgeon and as a family practitioner. She broke barriers and paved the way for doctors like me and my colleagues.

You can read about her experiences in her book:

Women Aren't Supposed to Fly: The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon

It is available here on Amazon:


09 November 2009

How many would they have saved?

Chief Warrant Officer Michael Grant Cahill (Ret.) was both a RN and a PA at Ft. Hood, also father of three and grandfather of one.
Maj. Libardo Eduardo Caraveo was a father and a psychologist who helped prisoners and was deploying with a combat stress unit.
Army Staff Sgt. Justin DeCrow was deploying to Iraq, and was a father of a 13-yr-old girl.
Capt. John Gaffaney was a pyschiatric nurse who helped elderly victims of abuse and a father.
Spc. Frederick Greene was assigned to the 20th Engineer Batallion at Fort Hood and was a computer whiz who could also build a truss.
Spc. Jason Dean Hunt was preparing for his second deployment to Iraq and had just gotten married.
Sgt. Amy Krueger joined up after 9/11 and was deploying to Afghanistan. She was a strong high school athlete.
Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka was the youngest of four children and followed a family tradition of service as he deployed to Afghanistan.
Pfc. Michael Pearson was a skilled guitarist who had trained to deactivate IED’s on his upcoming deployment.
Capt. Russell Seager was a VA nurse who helped soldiers with PTST and a father who was deploying to Iraq.
Pvt. Francheska Velez was an Iraq veteral who was three months pregnant.
Lt. Col. Juanita L. Warman was a physician’s assistant who was mother to two and grandmother to six.
Spc. Kham Xiong was deploying to Afghanistan and a father of three.