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Warrior dec2009

  1. 1. Warriors Taking Care of Warriors December 2009
  2. 2. Desert WARRIORS Inside this Issue Around Sailor in the Spotlight .......................pg. 5 the Sands MCC(SW/AW) Lesley Maceyak PAO EMFK Sailors in Buehring..................pg. 6 As I walk around EMFK I’m seeing the spirit of the Holidays come alive. Decorations galore, and homemade goodies sent from loved ones. It makes you feel like a little from home is here in Kuwait. Speaking of home, I have two children and this year will be hard for them not having their mommy. Just last year, I broke the news to my youngest about “Santa.” Her older brother was filling her ear Team Work .......................................pg. 7 about Santa and she was asking me a million questions. I know this was mean but I got tired of hearing it and said you know who Santa Pensacola locals make visit ...............pg. 9 is? She said “who?” I said, “Ho, Ho, Ho!” So that wasn’t nice of me and now I felt like the Holiday spirit was Warrior Return Unit........................pg. 11 ruined. Especially with a crying child who was so disappointed that I was Santa. But it wasn’t ruined, ask why? There is a lot more to No-Nonsense Story of Christmas....pg. 13 Christmas than just Santa and the breaking of the bank. Commanding Officer: We have our friends, families and co-workers. We have wonderful Capt. Lynn E. Welling jobs that fight for our Country’s freedoms. We have a choice of religion, who we want to be with, where we want to live and how Executive Officer: we want to live. What about how beautiful the earth is and all the Capt. Steve L. Keener creatures that live in it. Do you stop to take it all in and breathe the fresh air. Command Master Chief: How about here in Kuwait, the beds we get to sleep in every night HMCM(SW/AW) Steve A. Murray and the free movies we get to watch. Have you walked over and taken a look at the wood shop and see the beautiful pieces that Editor and Public Affairs Officer our Sailors are making? How about the laughter you do hear at the MCC(SW/AW) Maceyak clinics from time to time. It’s there, I hear it! Cell: 9940-5947 DSN: 318-430-1997 I’m so blessed to know that there are so many things that I’m Email: lesley.a.maceyak@kuwait.swa.army.mil grateful for. Even though I’m away from my loved ones, I’m happy that I’m healthy, alive and can share it with someone like you. So Desert Warrior Staff: take a minute and reflect that it isn’t so bad that we are away from HM3 Oheneba Amponsah home. It could be a lot worst. Hey, at least we have internet, online shopping and Skype, right? Happy Holidays to you all! Cover picture done by: LT. James Buchanan 1
  3. 3. CAPTAIN’S CORNER threatening combat injuries. And as many of you know, we accomplished this (somewhat unexpectedly due to the staffing process at HHQ) over 4 months earlier than we had planned. India detachment quickly adjusted fire to the new staffing, realigned its assets to continue to cover its mission, and pressed on with our medical Warriors taking care of the Warriors going into harm’s way. Another issue that is affecting every command in the AOR is predeployment training. All acknowledge that combat skills training is important, and has been appropriately emphasized. All (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines) also noted that medical training needs to be significantly improved. This includes the basics (BLS, ACLS, ATLS), TCCC, and for each service its service specific trauma training programs (the Navy has NTTC and OEMS). All noted that their warriors hit the deck running at all levels, and are often seeing trauma patients the day they set foot at their deployed command. This has been taken back to the HHQ of each service, and EMFK has been working closely with NAVCENT, BUMED, Happy Holidays to the Warriors, families, parent commands, and NEMTI to ensure we are preparing our warriors as and friends of EMFK! We have just completed the month of best we can prior to their deployments. This has already begun with Ramadan, the Moslem period of fasting and worship, and will have a revised NEMTI training plan for Juliet det. Again, parent command had Thanksgiving by the time this is published, and then only a few support is critical, and has been outstanding in this regard. more shopping days until Christmas! And then, shortly after New Years, India det pulls up stakes, and turns over with Juliet det to We have also instituted a sponsorship program that is start 2010 off right. attached to our family communication program. Each parent command POMI has received a list of assigned sponsors for their Parent Command and Family support for the Warriors of warriors in Juliet det, along with their email addresses. Please EMFK has been phenomenal during the last five months. We all encourage them to make contact to see what they really need to greatly appreciate it. We’re all looking forward to calls and “skyping” bring, and what to expect here in Kuwait, or further forward should with you on the holidays. Be prepared for some long waits as the they have the opportunity to go to Afghanistan, Iraq, or to the ships lines get overloaded quickly on these special days. in the Gulf of Aden. They can also find information on the EMFK Blog, http://emfkuwait.blogspot.com, and on the Navy IA webpage I recently attended the CENTCOM surgeon’s conference http://www.ia.navy.mil/kuwait.htm. I strongly encourage your which included senior medical leaders from the entire CENTCOM incoming warriors to take advantage of these assets to prepare for area of responsibility (AOR), Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and the their upcoming detachment. Sea Lanes surrounding these areas. There were a few common themes that came out of the conference, which I’m happy to As the war shifts from Iraq to Afghanistan, the mission of announce EMFK is in the lead in addressing many of these issues. medical care in Kuwait is shifting from a wartime trauma center, The first issues across the board was staffing all our facilities and to an in-garrison care mission. India detachment staff has been to what level. All the leaders expressed concerns that maintaining working closely with Army staff to ensure that this transition a level of staffing that provided “near CONUS” level of care was goes smoothly, expeditiously and that the medical footprint that unsustainable, and we needed to return to the expeditionary model remains in Kuwait is the correct one for the mission here. We have of medical care. This includes ensuring that each warrior (and been working closely with the American Embassy, and the Kuwaiti contractor) that comes into theater is fully medically ready, meets medical facilities to be able to utilize the robust Kuwaiti medical all theater guidelines, and will as much as can be predicted, remain system to provide outstanding care for our warriors as is provided in compliance throughout their tour. This puts the obligation on the by other host nation facilities worldwide. medical processing sites to be more discerning, the Component Surgeons more strict about granting waivers, and the individuals to To the Warriors of EMFK, as your time here in Kuwait winds be more involved in preparing for deployment. As this is instituted down, a reminder that while you are all anticipating awesome across the AOR, we should see the medical requirements transform reunions with your families and friends, we all need to keep our into primary expeditionary units taking care of the forward heads in the game out here, to continue to provide that outstanding deployed warrior, and less assets needed for routine and elective patient care 100% of the time, and continue to improve the way we care. EMFK is on the forefront of this initiative as we have worked do business so our handoff to Juliet det sets them up for a hugely diligently to match assets with mission, and have already returned successful mission, just as the one you’re completing. over 120 warriors back to their parent commands to get quality dwell time, and prepare for the next deployment, or have sent You are AWESOME!!!!! warriors forward to areas with great need in taking care of the life 2
  4. 4. The Executive Officer’s Note Warriors, It’s hard to believe the Holiday Season is upon us and that we will soon be preparing to redeploy back home. As I began to reflect about being away from my family during the holidays, I keep thinking about a poem I had seen in the past which I wanted to share with you. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas, My Friend By James M. Schmidt, a Marine Lance Corporal stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1986 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES FOR CONTACTING WARRIORS OF EMFK Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone. F amilies and friends of EMFK warriors. Please cut this out and put it on your refrigerator, or in some other place you can find it should you need it. If you have an emergency at home, or I had come down the chimney, with presents to give and to see just who in this home did live hear of a potential emergency or disaster over here in Kuwait, these As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see, are the procedures you can use to get in touch with your warrior to get as much information as possible. They are listed in order. no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. Contact your warrior via the method you have already set No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand. up. In most cases this should work. However, due to operational On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land. security, there are times when the phone and internet lines to the base are shut off, and then you must use an alternate method, and With medals and badges, awards of all kind, be prepared to wait until the authorities open the communications a sobering thought soon came to my mind. up. For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen. Contact your warrior’s parent command (i.e., the one they are normally attached to or their duty station from which they This was the home of a U.S. Marine. deployed). You should have been given contact information for I’d heard stories about them, I had to see more, the CIAC (command individual augmentee coordinator), the POMI so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door. (plans operational medical intelligence), or the CMC/XO/CO. We will attempt to get information to the commands as soon as possible And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone, after an event out here. Your parent command also has good Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home. contact information on your warriors, and can get messages to them He seemed so gentle, his face so serene, out here. If your warrior is on GSA orders, you should be getting a GSA Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine. monthly deployment newsletter. Read it, as it has good generic Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read? information on getting assistance for all sorts of issues. It also Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed? lists phone numbers and emails for the duty crew that can be of His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan. assistance. For Kuwait, these contact #’s are: ECRC family help desk ecrc.fs.fct@navy.mil, I soon understood, this was more than a man. Team Kuwait: ecrc.gsa_other.fct@navy.mil, Telephone Number: 757- For I realized the families that I saw that night, 462-4744 Ext(s) 123, 126, 143 or 235 owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight. If none of the above are able to help you, you can call the following numbers, they are international and long distance charges Soon around the Nation, the children would play, will apply. We will call you back as soon as possible. And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day. They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year, CO – CAPT Lynn Welling: Cell: 011.965.9965.6095, DSN: 318.430.1913 because of Marines like this one lying here. XO – CAPT Steven Keener: Cell: 011.965.9901.7024, DSN: 318.430.1910 CMC – HMCM Stephen Murray: Cell: 011.965.9965.8984, DSN: 318.430.1908 Our leadership spouses are available to assist also, and may have important information sooner than some of the official sources: CO Spouse –Patricia Welling - 619.995.1766 XO Spouse – Deborah Keener – 703.753.4789 CMC Spouse – Nichole Murray – 757.818.7648 3
  5. 5. CMC’s spot Shipmates! First, congratulations to our newly advanced Petty Officers! You’ve worked hard, studied hard and now you get to reap those benefits. Of course, you also get new responsibilities, broader challenges and a new set of personal and professional goals. Charge forward with your new crow and live our CORE VALUES with reckless abandon! As the holiday season approaches, I’m reminded of our ‘support staff’ back home. Our families, friends, parent commands and even strangers are out there keeping that home fire lit and holding it high. I’m also reminded of the countless Red Cross and USO volunteers, church groups and elementary schools that send countless care packages and don’t ask or expect anything in return. Just ‘Come Home Safe’. Or, in the case of quite a few Third Graders from Missouri recently, ‘Thanks for saving America’! Love those cards….. While our backgrounds are diverse, our methods and ideas not similiar and our gatherings a melting pot of race, religion, political thought and design, we are still FELLOW AMERICANS. One Nation, One Team, One FIGHT. I ask that you join me in fostering that culture of fellowship. At home and abroad, our service to our country, by nature, makes us brothers (and sisters) in arms. Comrades. SHIPMATES. It’s this mindset, this culture of dedication and commitment, that has Advancements seen our Navy grow from a handful of ships fighting the Barbary Wars to the immense footprint that we have placed on the Global Petty Officer First Class War on Terror. HM2 Abdullah Hopefully, you are sharing the feeling of pride that I have HM2 Olivar in our country and our Navy. Be proud of yourselves. Your HM2 Rios (redeployed) commitment to EMF Kuwait and our Commanding Officer’s HM2 Siegert philosophy are what has made us a success, and will continue to remind others of our successes. Believe it or not, India detachment’s chapter in Kuwait is almost to a close. You have Petty Officer Second Class played a vital role in our victory in Iraq (OIF) and our continuing HM3 Freeman advancement in Afghanistan (OEF). We have sacrificed and we HM3 McCauley have accomplished. We will complete this mission and leave HM3 Nixon together as ONE. One team, having put our distinct touch on this little piece of history. Our legacy will be remembered as positive, HM3 Randle dynamic and lasting. YN2 Shouse (redeployed) Brothers and Sisters, STAY THE COURSE. Accomplish the HM3 Smith mission and leave your mark. I’m proud to serve with you and HM3 Theopolous thankful for all that you do, every day. HM3 Hall (redeployed) See you on the deckplates. HM3 Pescadormartinez (redeployed) With Pride, Petty Officer Third Class HN Andrews CMC HN Aninzo HN Barry (redeployed) HN Fajardo 4
  6. 6. Hospital Corpsman Second Class Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Lusia Asunsion’s Lusia Asunsion has been in the Navy for six years and she works in optometry. She has learned a lot while here at EMFK. She has learned about leadership and friendship. ilors A big accomplishment while being on Sa Individual Augmentee, she has taken two college courses. i n the ht While at EMFK, her hobbies have been playing the acoustic guitar. Every night she is playing and otlig teaching friends to read music. That has kept her Sp busy on top of her job and school work. She is married and her husband lives in Guam. Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Sean Bowman is a Hospital Corpsman Third Class volunteered IA and works at Kuwait Naval Base (KNB) which is one of five clinics that are commanded by Sean Bowman Expeditionary Medical Facility Kuwait. His daily goal at the clinic is handling sick call. In an average day he sees about 10 patients, doing initial assessments and giving the report to the provider. KNB handles several different services and work along with Kuwaiti military at the clinic. There is a wide range of service members being seen at the clinic, some are SEAL teams who transition through KNB. He is on call 24/7. In addition, Bowman is put in charge of the lab and pharmacy, and he said, “I’m not a lab tech or pharmacy tech, but handling the responsibility of issuing prescriptions and ordering labs.” On his off time, Bowman has been hitting the gym and has lost over 25 pounds. He is planning on making the Navy a Career. From the school in the future. look of his coffee cup he was using, he looks like a future Chief! The inside of cup was lined with stained coffee. Bowman said, “Being here in Kuwait has been a good experience. Working with Kawaiti military has been a challenge He would like to go to Independent Duty Corpsman but rewarding.” EMFK’s new United Through Reading Program deployments have one thing in common, family separation. by RP1 Akil Blackmon The overall UTR program was established in 1989 to In Oct 2009, the EMFK Chaplain’s office started the help support relationships by reading aloud to children. At United Through Reading Program (UTR). The program EMFK we have all experienced the anxiety of separation to enables families to keep in touch across the miles. On some degree. The United Through Reading program helps military deployments families who value the benefits to close some but not all of the gaps that family separation of one on one time together, the United Through may cause. The program consist of three parts, military Reading military program offers opportunity for members go to the Chaplains office, pick out a book and powerful emotional connections that relive the stress make a recording, then simply mail the recording and the of separation by having deployed parents read aloud to book home to your loved ones. their children via DVD. Shipboard and ground based 5
  7. 7. EMFK Sailors in Buehring Workin g hard fo By Lt. Sunny Mitchell r others Nestled in the vast expanse of the Kuwait desert, maximize the most and located just south of the Iraq border, Camp efficient patient care Beuhring is the most northern coalition base in Kuwait; available. and home to one of the bustiest Troop Medical Facilities (TMCs) in this country. Camp Beuhring nurse, Although quality Lieutenant Carol Wheeler flashes a smile and says, patient care is a “Ever see the (TV) show “M.A.S.H?” This is the setting.” constant focus and overall mission for all Expeditionary Medical Facilities (EMFs) in Kuwait, Hospital Corpsmen Staffed with four doctors, one dentists, two nurses, 3rd Class Justin Keeling says there are unique and 16 Corpsmen, the TMC is the one-stop shop, open challenges working at Beuhring because their facility is 24-hours a day, seven days a week, for all coalition so far removed from the other area TMCs. troop and ex-patriot medical needs at Camp Beuhring. From treating various kinds of abscess, offering sick The TMC staff relies on the experience, cooperate call twice a day and shot-exercises (shot-ex’s) when knowledge, and teamwork, which are essential for needed, advising commanders about H1N1, to teaching patient care. Wheeler affirms teamwork as the reason preventive medicine techniques the Camp Beuhring for Beuhring’s success, “(I) wouldn’t trade them for clinic is truly a bustling oasis of healing in the remote the world. Great team and would take them back deserts of Kuwait. stateside.” Unlike a real desert oasis, the TMC is constantly The character Trapper John on the 1970’s television growing and evolving to meet mission readiness show “M.A.S.H.” once said, “All it needs is a little salt.... requirements for all troops stationed at, or pepper.... mustard, ketchup, sauce, flavor.” transitioning through, Camp Beuhring. Because of the constant demand for the best medical care possible, Although he was referring to food, Camp Behring’s on Sunday, September 13th, the TMC opened its new TMC is a lot like this quote. Necessary for functioning facility. are strong Corpsmen, doctors, and nurses, a lot of flexibility, mixed with fun and the obligatory sense of Currently the TMC averages about 1,000 patients humor. Combined together the staff Camp Beuhring per month, about 45 patients a day, and if a shot-ex is TMC offers the best patient care making it truly scheduled then they accommodate 200+ troops at one an oasis where its staff heals so their patients can time. Since TMC, mental health, preventive medicine, continue the mission. and physical therapy are now co-located in the same building; health care services are being streamlined to 6
  8. 8. Team Work is the foundation of EMFK By MCC(SW/AW) Lesley Maceyak EMFK India detachment has been when Hevrin got to the car, the patient need in a timely manner. doing an outstanding job . There are was in full cardiac arrest, and they so many countless stories to tell and it eventually had to shock him six times. Roy explained the experiences she is hard to focus on just one good thing From the last time Hevrin heard, “He is is getting here, “This is my first time because there have been so many. I doing well.” deployed to a land base facility in the went around the clinic and asked the Middle-East, but I have been deployed questions about teamwork and most Hevrin continued to talk about to the Philippines and to ships. This is of the responses were the same. When team work and who he would like to my first director position.” you sum up it all up, team work is thank, “There is a lot of team effort what’s keeping this command at full happening here; corpsman, nurses “I have learned that you can always throttle. and doctors are working together. count on the Navy to get the job done The corpsman as a group, I would truly,” said Roy. Cmdr. Michael Cardenas, EMFK’s like to thank, all together they are gynecologist, talked about what his outstanding.” Roy continues to talk about job entails. Cardenas stated, “From a some of the patients she has seen, woman’s health perspective, I am able Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Lacey “We have had several critical patients to provide the same primary care that McNeely works in the Ward/CASREC, that have come in here, one was a any Soldier or Sailor serious pneumonia gets back home.” patients and the other had diabetic Cardenas has ketoacidosis (DKA). learned a lot while In this particular being deployed here, person the blood “From an operative sugar got very high perspective, working and he was found with the General in a diabetic coma. Surgeon, has Even recently, with really broadened two casualties from my experience a vehicle collision, as a surgeon. I’m there was a major doing a lot more trauma. Patient with non-gynecological multiple fractures surgeries, which and head injuries. has the same What was noticed in principle as GYN type taking care of these surgeries but by that patients was that perspective you can few EMFK staff have bring home a lot seen trauma, and more experience.” have never taken care of patients like The most personal reward here and is gaining a lot of experience while this before. What I saw with the caring has been being part of the team here at EMFK. McNeely said, “I was a of those patients was a very diverse Cardenas said, “The staff is dedicated clinic corpsman in the States, I’m hands group of people who came together and focused, which I have never seen on now, doing IV’s and EKGs. I have and communicated exceptionally well before.” He continued to say, “Capt. learned that team work really makes a in the middle of a crisis. They all new James Valente I would like to thank also, difference throughout the day and helps enough by their training to take care of that his dedication is unmatched.” utilize your time wisely.” the patient and we came together as a cohesive team.” In the CASREC and Ward, Lt. McNeely spoke about HM2 Michael Hevrin, is one of the staff Katherine Terry, “She has been a big “Beyond the nursing, and the registered nurses. Looking back on the help to me and has taught me so much, provider staff, the pharmacy is involved deployment he has learned to work and I can always go to her.” getting all those drips and medications with Army counterparts. That has been for patients. Lab is involved in sending a learning curve for Hevrin. Director of Nurses Services (DNS), critical lab results and procuring blood Cmdr. Deborah Roy, supervises all for transfusions. Patient Administration The most rewarding patient Hevrin inpatient care and care in the CASREC, is there to facilitate the medical has encountered while here was a makes sure that Nurses have the evacuation of patients to get continued civilian who was driven in by his friend resources they need and ensures that care. Every single person whether and was having a heart attack in the car, all patients are getting the care they directly involved in the care of the 7
  9. 9. HM3 Joseph Orlino helps HM3 Sarah Jones dress-out for surgery. Photo by MCC(SW/AW) Lesley Maceyak Lt. James Buchanan prepares patient for Hernia surgery. Photo by MCC(SW/AW) Lesley Maceyak patient or somehow involved in the McNeil notes all support services came together and unusual cases in her got the job done. Getting as good of notebook. In just four care as they would receive in a major and half months, she trauma center. This is because all of the has logged in over command’s assets were used to care for 54 cases that she has these people.” found interesting. She works with Roy exclaimed, “I am extremely all the doctors in proud of my enlisted corpsman staff, studying the cases; technicians, radiologists, and the nurses documenting and that have come together. One thing you discussing them. worry about on deployment, are we going to have the skill set to take care of McNeil said about working HM3 Lacey McNeely stays busy doing reports. what comes through the door? That is together with the Photo by MCC(SW/AW) Lesley Maceyak the least of my worries because I know they have what it takes!” EMFK doctors, “Here you get the whole Radiologist and Director of Clinical picture, you don’t Buchanan’s LPO, Hospital Support Services (DCSS), Capt. Kimberly get this back in the States, it is just too Corpsmand 2nd Class Ricardo McNeil believes she is getting excellent big. The way you work together here Alonsolopez, has been an asset to the operational experience. McNeil said, as a team and taking care of patients is OR. Buchanan said, “He is the sharpest “The team is unique here, we work especially rewarding and unique, you tech he has had the pleasure to work closely together as a small group of get great care here.” with. We have been reduced by 66% people, but we get a lot accomplished.” staffing for OR. I am the only OR nurse Lt. James Buchanan, perioperative and I have 2 techs. Two detachments She made a point that nurse in the OR, does routine cases ago they had 11 and now we have two extraordinary “pathology” is happening here instead of sending them back to techs and we have the same job load. here at EMFK. What is “pathology” I state side for care. Buchanan said, “We It takes sharp management to keep asked, McNeil said, “It is a nice word to are able to keep the Sailors and Soldiers the irons in the fire. He would flounder encompass all that we are doing.” here for minor surgeries.” without having Alonsolopez.” Pathology is the study and Buchanan continued to state, “We EMFK continues to show each and diagnosis of disease through work very close with the Ward and every day that there is an esprit decorps examination of organs, tissues, bodily the Specialty Clinic. We work in such here and teamwork is the reason fluids, and whole bodies. McNeil has a cohesive function here that we are behind it! seen some noteworthy cases. She has allowed to treat patients more rapidly seen abcesses, bizarre fractures, brain so they can get back to work.” bleeds, tumors, and cancer. 8
  10. 10. Pensacola folks show some our way for the Holidays by MCC(SW/AW) Lesley Maceyak The Expeditionary Medical Facility Kuwait got a special visit from a country music station, Cat Country 98.7 and WEAR TV3 from Pensacola, Florida. Cat Country is the academy of country music station of the year. The morning host, Dana Cervantes returned to Kuwait for the third time to give tribute to the men and women from Pensacola. With her, she brought letters from all over Pensacola to give out to service members to read. Dana got a chance to interview a few of our Pensacola Sailors here at EMFK. Her first interview was with S-6 Communications Officer, Lieutenant Rusty Deason. What made this visit so special for Deason is he is a Pensacola local. He was very excited to get a visit from Dana Cervantes which he well knows from listening to her show while at work in Pensacola. From Left: Lt. Justin Eubanks, Bill Pearson, HM1 Ethlyn Dana Cervantes explains why she is happy to be Hixon, Lt. Rusty Deason, Daniel Kettinger holding Dana here, “I love the fact that I can bring a little piece of Cervantes. Photo by MCC Maceyak home to the Sailors.” Dana sat with Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ethlyn Hixon and explained to her about how people back Pearson has done many stories on homecomings in home want to let you know that even though they the past from the Middle East and Afghanistan. Pearson don’t even know you, that you are appreciated. Does it goes on by saying, “Being here makes those stories make a difference to get the support from home? Hixon said, “It does, it makes a tremendous difference. Too often on the radio and TV people take for granted on what we do. They tend to forget what we are sacrificing for. We might not be getting shot at but we are leaving our families behind, and that alone is a huge emotional stress. We are over here fighting for our freedom that some take for granted. These letters do matter to us, and I would like to thank them.” Camera reporter, Wear TV, Bill Pearson, talked about this being his first visit overseas ever. Pearson said, “From getting their passport, and to fly on a charter flight from Atlanta to here has already been quite an experience. To see the men and women in the service is going to be amazing. To see what they do on a daily basis will give me a new perspective. Daniel Kettinger sets up a video clip with HM1 Ethlyn Hixon and Army patient. Photo by MCC Maceyak more real and personal to me. It lets me see how they are living, what they are sacrificing for, than their type of life back home. Videographer Daniel Kettinger also from Wear TV was excited to be here in the Middle East. He said, “I will not be missing Thanksgiving too much back home this year, but I will miss my mom’s home cooking. I am happy to be here and to have Thanksgiving with the troops.” Pharmacists Lieutenant Justin Eubanks was interviewed on camera by Kettinger. Eubanks said, “He enjoyed the interview and it was unexpected to get someone from his home duty station to come here. I Cat Country 98.7 morning host, Dana Cervantes am happy they got a chance to come visit.” interviews Lt. Justin Eubanks. Photo by MCC Maceyak 9
  11. 11. Sanity Check…the Holiday Edition Award winning actors Robert DiNiro, Kate Beckinsale, Drew Berrymore, and Sam Rockwell team up for this year’s hit holiday movie, “Everybody’s Fine.” Opening in state-side theaters on December 4th, DiNiro plays Frank, a father of grown-up children who all phone home leaving messages they will not be attending the family’s annual Christmas reunion. The siblings all end their messages with, “Don’t worry dad, everybody’s fine.” Alone on Christmas, Frank begins a journey across the United States to reconnect with each of his children only to discover that their lives are not what they seem. This modern remake Giuseppe Tornatore’s 1990 movie, Stanno Tutti Bene, still captivates audiences partially • Choose to do letters or holiday cards because it addresses something meaningful the uncomfortable with people whom you • Start a tradition with your family theme of “dealing with want to spend time that can continue whether you are on family drama during deployment or not (see chaplain if you need the holidays.” There is • Include physical ideas) something about the activity in your daily holidays that brings schedule not only to • Spend quality time with a friend; have out the craziness many burn off extra calories, several on speed dial families have often but to unwind from a packed away deep particularly stressful The common denominator in all of within their closets. season these tips (whether deployed or not) is Charles Dickens must remembering to utilize our own natural have been thinking • Eat healthy (small ability to heal and transform ourselves and of the holiday season portions) and “spend” our situations. These tips focus on enjoying when he penned, “It calories on foods you love (or surviving) life and removing the victim was the best of times into which sometimes we turn ourselves. it was the worst of • Make a holiday The bottom line that we tend to forget times….” scrapbook; or document during the holiday season, is remembering the holidays with a video we cannot change anyone but ourselves and If the holiday recorder for the deployed how we react to the people and settings season was not stressful enough, member around us. deployment stresses often make the “most joyous time of year” seem like a perpetual • Rediscover your inner child by Accepting we cannot change our season of Friday the 13th’s. Whether it is watching Christmas movies or specials like, relatives or friends (who are also probably the deployed member or family members “White Christmas,” “It’s a Wonderful Life”, experiencing holiday stress) frees us and back at home, anxiously waiting for their “Miracle on 34th Street”, “How the Grinch gives us the permission we need to enjoy loved one’s safe return, family drama during Stole Christmas”, “Rudolph the Red Nosed what we love most about the holiday the holiday season knows no boundaries Reindeer” and, of course, Scrooge and all season. By not setting our expectations of and can transcend the miles. This drama its variations. Or , read out loud with family these people or situations too high allows us can cause long hours of stress and anxiety, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” or the freedom to create boundaries (fences) sadness, depression, and even anger to all “Christmas Carol” around ourselves so we do not get sucked who are involved. How can anyone possibly into arguments. The two best holiday gifts stay sane during this season when several For Deployed Members (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, thousand miles of sea and desert separate New Years, etc) we can give ourselves are loved ones and their families? • Get involved in something around self-care and family time, even if several the base (i.e. EMFK Community Relations thousand miles separate us from our loved Books (rags), magazines, and thousands Project, sports or aerobics classes, or ones. of websites offer countless tips for stress- religious services etc.) free holidays. Some of the most common In the movie “Everybody’s Fine” Robert tips are: • Set aside time for pampering yourself DiNiro’s character had a choice: He could sit in his empty house in California and feel For Family Members • United Through Reading (contact RP1 sorry for himself or he could remove the Blackmon) victim inside himself. He chose to remove • Say no to events (and to certain the victim and meet his family. He could not people) so you won’t spread yourself too • Do something you haven’t done change them; he did not have the physical thin before or have not done in a while (i.e. power to heal any of them; yet he we able to woodshop, eat at another zone, get a find a way to accept them for who they were • Don’t spend a lot of money; shop massage) (and where they were) and was able to have online; create a budget and stick to it a joyous holiday with those that meant to • Write actual letters home (not skype, most to him regardless of the situation. • Volunteer not email, not social networking) actual 10
  12. 12. Warrior Return Unit (WRU) Right Choice for Joint Force Recovery Revised by Lt. Kathleen Caffrey The Warrior Return Unit (WRU) located on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait boasts WRU Living Area of being the ‘right choice’ for expeditious recovery of Joint and Coalition Forces who benefit from in theatre medical care and convalescence. Managed by Expeditionary Medical Facility Kuwait (EMF-K), the WRU was created to maximize the opportunity for Return to Duty (RTD) of patients treated inside the USCENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR) as part of the Theater Treatment, Rehabilitation, and Return to Duty Program. Established in 2005, the intent of the RTD Program and the WRU is to streamline the patient movement process, conserve valuable resources, and enable specified Operated under the EMF-K Patient Administration Department patients to receive their definitive (PAD), staff collaborates in a multidisciplinary approach to achieve treatment and rehabilitation in Theater Command and WRU goals “to maximize the quality of life for service and rapidly return them to duty without members of coalition forces during the period of convalescence, sending them out of the AOR. expediting their return to duty or transfer to definitive care.” This is met through a strong focus on administrative, transportation and billeting support to all uniformed personnel undergoing medical / surgical treatment at EMF-K while returning to duty within 30 days. Statistics of the WRU include an average 114 patients per month census boasting an 83% Return to Duty rate. That’s 1,143 Joint Force and coalition forces this year and over 5,467 since the WRU conception. Customer satisfaction is an astounding 99% from 900 collected patient surveys supporting a strong stance that this WRU program is an investment with great rewards! The Warrior Return Unit (WRU) comprises three Partial Construction or Pre- Cast Buildings (PCB) with 11
  13. 13. Physical Therapy, Internet Service, semi-private berthing. A common lounge exists in each building WRU LCPO, MAC Douglas Gingerich for resident activity. Residents are assisted as needed with a clothing / uniform acquisition process. A focus on convenience for the residents is evident with designated latrines constructed and in close proximity to accommodate patients with assorted disability. The commode stalls are extra wide and all showers are equipped with fold-down seats for patients with physical limitations. DFAC- dining facilities, MWR and PX shopping are all within close walking distance. The WRU is manned by a Division Officer, who is the Nurse Case Manager, and six full time enlisted staff members. In addition, the WRU is supported by one part time ARMY Liaison from the 3D MDSC, who contribute to ensure continuity and communication to Army command affiliates. Donations by several organizations, charities and groups across the globe have enhanced comfort and morale to all residents of the WRU. Living Quarters at WRU Several performers have stopped by to share their musical talents including Charlie Wilson and The Gap Band, Blackstreet, Chely Wright, Andrew Ripp, Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers, and Charlie Daniels. The WRU is a holistic approach to maximize the warriors’ potential for recovery and return to duty. Through a focus on the patients’ case management and treatment, many have found access to services including mental health and an identification of health issues that resulted in needed treatment. Access to a Chaplain, Mental Health, and Legal services has also greatly enhanced the statistics of this impressive ‘warrior’ program. Physical Therapy Crew 12
  14. 14. The No-Nonsense Story of Christmas HM1 (SW/AW/FMF) Jodie Bédard As a child I remember sitting around the fireplace birth is thought to be in either the spring or the fall, the on a cold December night listening to memories of a date of December 25 was chosen as the official birthday family Christmas story long past. Or, sitting and staring celebration as Christ’s Mass so that it would compete head- in splendid wonder at the beautiful Christmas Tree with to-head with the rival pagan celebration. its lights gleaming on all of the marvelous presents below and wondering just how did Santa get all of that Christmas was slow to catch on in early America as down the chimney. the early colonists considered it to be a pagan ritual, there was even a law in Massachusetts during early colonial Well, after a bit of research I have found the true days which made the celebration of Christmas illegal to history of Christmas. I will say that it may not come as celebrate. As a matter of fact, the Puritans forbade the a surprise to many of you that Christmas is a Christian singing of Christmas carols, period! holiday, but its origins are not what you may think. So sit around Christmas tree and pour a cup of Egg Nog as In other Christmas news; the earliest English collection the true history of Christmas is as follows: of Christmas Carols was published in 1521. ~ The first Christmas card was created in England on December 9, In the 4th century, the Catholic Church wanted to 1842. Now, Christmas cards account for $2.28 billion (or conceal the celebrations of a rival pagan religion that 61 percent) of annual sales for Greeting Card Companies threatened Christianity’s very existence. It appears that ~ St. Nicholas was bishop of the Turkish town of Myra in the Romans celebrated the birthday of their sun god, the early fourth century. It was the Dutch who first made Mithras during the same time of year. It was unheard him into a Christmas gift-giver, and Dutch settlers brought of for the Christians to celebrate people’s birthdays in him to America where his name eventually became the those times. However, church leaders decided that in familiar Santa Claus. He was also known as the children’s order to compete with the pagan celebration they would saint – St. Nicholas, and was said to have miraculously themselves order a festival in celebration of the birth revived three schoolboys murdered by an innkeeper. His of Jesus Christ. Although the actual season of Jesus’ generosity was limitless and people often found his gifts in their homes at times when they needed him most. ~ The classic animal crackers box is designed with a string handle because the animal-shaped cookie treats, introduced in 1902 as a Christmas novelty, were conveniently packaged so they could be hung from Christmas trees. ~ Ten percent of American households still leave milk and cookies out for Santa. ~ The tradition of Christmas lights dates back to when Christians were persecuted for saying Mass and a simple candle in the window meant that Mass would be celebrated there that night. ~ Old World wine and milk with egg concoctions came to America when a new twist was put on the theme. Rum was used in the place of wine. In Colonial America, rum was commonly called “grog,” so the name eggnog is likely derived from the very descriptive term for this drink, “egg-and-grog,” which corrupted to egg’n’grog and soon to eggnog. ~ And finally, one we all may know oh so well from our own experiences; per the results of a three-year Christmas study performed by the Center for Lifestyle Management, an average of 10 hours are spent the last week of December arguing and bickering with family members about holiday-related activities. So, with joyous thoughts for all of the EMF-Kuwait personnel and their families; Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night. Bah-Humbug!! 13
  15. 15. Command Info Warrior Voices How are you involved in your family’s holiday FCPOA celebrations this year? The FCPOA continues the FlagPole Project for EMFK beautification. Our goal is to resurface and repaint the gravel. “ My wife put me in charge of mailing out all the Our pride and professional performance is top notch above christmas cards this year. the rest. We are proud to serve our country and proud to serve EMFK. I think that’s because it’s free to mail letters while deployed.” LTJG Martin Boese “I have made a video message for my family. I will send it along with Christmas cards and presents to them.” HM2 Elda Rodriguez Please Contact FCPOA President for any questions: “ Skype. I want to watch HM1(SW) Phetkhamyath DCSS LPO, Radiology Department my wife an kids open their EMF-Kuwait Camp Arifijan presents through skype.” APO AE 09366 DSN: 430-1929 LT Andrew Rutledge Get your India Detachment Cruisebook! “My wife and son are Take home a momento of going to visit my family in your EMFK deployment. Book is only $30.00. Give Massachusetts, they will be your order to LS2 Beaujean, carrying a picture of me as HM2 Mears, PS2 Rosa, HM3 if I were there with them.” McNeely or HM1 Hixon soon! EM2 Joseph Vanni “Sent home traditional EMFK Juliet Sponsor Program Kuwaiti outfits for my neices and nephews.” Nearly every Warrior in India Detachment is assigned a member of Juliet Detachment to sponsor. See Sharepoint for your sponsor assignment and Welcome Aboard Package LS1(SW) Jermaine Dixon materials that you need to forward to your replacement ASAP. If you any questions, please contact S-1 at 430-1916 14