With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. –Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865
Dear sweet Meredith, every day by your side amazes me that I can be so lucky. Ti Amo.
I wear my desert camouflage uniform, the creases still crisp from the alteration and pressing shop where my medical unit insignia and major’s rank were sewn on.
Each time I speak with Meredith, I make sure our closing words are ones I would be happy with as the last thing she hears from me.
As a team we feel like a failure whenever we lose a patient who arrives at our hospital alive. We gave this enemy the same care we give our troops, we did everything in our power to keep him breathing. But he was on a mission to kill my countrymen and may have succeeded if he were still alive. How am I supposed to comprehend his death when my duty as a doctor to heal contradicts my duty as an officer to defend?
These men died with that red, white, and blue sewn to their uniforms. All we do while deployed, our every breath up till the last one, is for that flag.
… our facility experienced “mission creep” because of the presence of injured civilians, including children.
... there is no end in sight to the flow of injured and traumatized children rushing through the hospital doors.
I write because I cannot sleep at night. Even if my words here are never read, I’m a step better for having let it out. I may not be making any difference being here with what I do and say, but the fact remains that I am here. I don’t want these moments to be forgotten. The world should know. I see people live and die in this struggle, and even when they are gone forever it matters that they were here. I was here too. I saw it. I bore witness to these events; tragic, life-changing events for these unknown people in a hidden little corner of the world.