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Welcome to my blog!

This weblog is my online journal for my free trip to Afghanistan!  You'll find my chronicle of events, opinions on a variety of topics as well as links to other things on the web that I find interesting. Pictures say a thousand words, but my webspace is limited, so I will change pictures often. They will, unfortunately, be compressed quality to save space, too.

The local time is...

sun.jpg

Check out the local weather!

december 24, 2004

Merry Christmas!
It has been a pretty routine but busy week, hence no updates for a while. There is still some shooting up in the snowy mountains, but also a lot of peaceful excursions to remote villages on the part of our more mobile docs, too.
 
I gave my home town interview for the Brookline TAB this week, and it appeared December 23. Check it out at: http://www2.townonline.com/brookline/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=151861.
 
Also check out Santa's visit to Bagram on the Gallery page. We had a nice Christmas eve party at the hospital. We also had a fine USO show on December 23 with Al Franken (!, not a big W supporter), the US Army Rap Band, and country singer Darryl Worley. They were all very entertaining, well received, and unselfish for spending the holidays with us. Franken has been over 3 years in a row.
 
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes to all of you.
Fri, December 24, 2004 | link

december 14, 2004

CCCP was here.
The Soviet Union spent some time here. There is lots of abandoned hardware around the base and the countryside for that matter (don't forget whose mines these are). Here is a little photo essay on the Soviet detritis. A prize for whoever can identify all the vehicles. The last picture shows that the Soviet legacy has not yet completely dissipated.
Tue, December 14, 2004 | link

december 13, 2004

More pictures.
I ran out of room on my site, so I am borrowing from my son. Go to the Gallery page for the link to a random assortment of Afghan imagery Bagram Blog Gallery.
Mon, December 13, 2004 | link

december 11, 2004

Runner up! Sat, December 11, 2004 | link

december 10, 2004

In the press.
The December 9 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine (Vol.351, No. 24; view at http://content.nejm.org/current.shtml) contains both prose and pictorial essays on military medicine in Iraq/Afghanistan. Although limited to a trauma surgeon's perspective, they do provide some interesting insights. Some of his points are dated. For instance, the role of the Forward Surgical Team (FST) is now being re-evaluated given the difficulty of defining where "forward" is in an insurgency. If the helicopter picks up a casualty, it usually flys over the FST directly to the much better equipped Combat Support Hospital (CSH). Be forewarned. The images are VERY graphic.
Fri, December 10, 2004 | link

december 7, 2004

Hail to the Chief!
President Karzai's inauguration today went without a hitch, much to our relief and the relief of the Secret Service swarming around Vice President Cheney's visit. The Veep's trip included Bagram for breakfast with the (carefully selected) troops. I wasn't invited. Must have heard I was from Massachusetts.
 
People may wonder what I do all day? Well, I wake up before the sun at 0530 for a crisp clear view of Venus and Jupiter rising in the east. Shower and dress, followed by a quick trip through radiology for the films that I haven't been called in to read during the night. Breakfast, then morning report with all the medical staff and commander at 0730. I hold office hours for Sick Call 0800-1500 usually skipping lunch. A workout at the main base gym surrounded by buff Marines and photos of Arnold Swarzenegger's youth from 1500-1630. Another shower, walk through the department, then dinner. Our traumas or other emergencies usually arrive after dinner (some things appear to be universal), so I am usually working on scans until 2000. If I don't, I spend time playing on the computer, emailing, or working on the Blog. I try to turn in at 2100, but the distant traumas always arrive by helo between 2200 and 0000, so I often get rousted out of bed. The EMT usually leaves me alone after midnight. This is the routine 6 days a week. The only different day is Sunday when there is no morning report, and Sick Call is 1300-1500 only. Still, I often get called on to check studies in the morning anyway. If I thought that I would be bored, I was wrong. I have steady work. I have started losing track of the passage of time, which is probably a good thing.
 
Stay tuned for a blast from the Soviet past coming soon!
Tue, December 7, 2004 | link

december 5, 2004

Check out Afghanistan On-Line! Sun, December 5, 2004 | link

december 3, 2004

These dogs DO hunt!
Some of the VIP's that we image in our department have paws (see pictures). The "working dogs" have a variety of roles, but here they are important as rescue dogs trained to sniff out mines when rescuing someone trapped in a minefield. The importance of these "soldiers" is emphasized by the Army tradition of assigning them a rank one above that of their handler.
 
 
There is a Veterinarian assigned to our hospital who keeps the dogs in tip top shape and occasionally asks for imaging of his patients, too. My predecessor did CT's and an UGI (!), though not very successfully. Did you know that there are at least twenty veterinary radiology residency programs in the US as well as an American College of Veterinary Radiology? See link: http://www.acvr.ucdavis.edu.
 
Of note, it is also the responsibility of the Veterinary corps to perform food safety inspections perhaps originating in the days when your dinner followed you into battle on the hoof. Perhaps only in Korea would dog care and dinner still overlap.
Fri, December 3, 2004 | link

2007.01.01 | 2005.01.01 | 2004.12.01 | 2004.11.01

Camp Lacy
Camp Lacy
Here I am at the gate to the compound - well armed.

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Afghanistan-OEF