Inside this Issue Around
Sailor in the Spotlight .......................pg. 5
MCC(SW/AW) Lesley Maceyak
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
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!
DSN: 318-430-1997 I’m so blessed to know that there are so many things that I’m
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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
The Executive Officer’s Note
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,
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
email@example.com, I soon understood, this was more than a man.
Team Kuwait: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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,
CMC – HMCM Stephen Murray: Cell: 011.965.9965.8984,
Our leadership spouses are available to assist also, and may
have important information sooner than some of the official
CO Spouse –Patricia Welling - 619.995.1766
XO Spouse – Deborah Keener – 703.753.4789
CMC Spouse – Nichole Murray – 757.818.7648
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.
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
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
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 Barry (redeployed)
Hospital Corpsman Second Class Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Lusia Asunsion’s
Lusia Asunsion has been in the Navy for six years and she works
She has learned a lot while here at EMFK. She
has learned about leadership and friendship.
A big accomplishment while being on
Individual Augmentee, she has taken two college
i n the ht
While at EMFK, her hobbies have been playing
the acoustic guitar. Every night she is playing and
teaching friends to read music. That has kept her
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
EMFK Sailors in Buehring
g hard fo
By Lt. Sunny Mitchell
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
The Warrior Return Unit
(WRU) comprises three
Partial Construction or Pre-
Cast Buildings (PCB) with
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
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
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
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
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
I think that’s because it’s
free to mail letters while
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
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
“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
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