Saturday, December 29, 2007

The training I felt uncomfortable about - and shouldn't have

I didn't really feel all that good about taking Combat Life Saver training. I am not a natural with first aid or trauma medicine - not that I am squeamish or such, but I just don't have a natural talent or inclination for it (after I put in my first saline lock and IV, I later called my Dad - a retired MD - and he was tickled about it, heh). I did OK and learned enough to help out in a pinch.

But one thing that good first aid/trauma training can get across to you is a sense of, for lack of a better term, "priority". Certain things must be done if naught else is accomplished.

Like, seeing what is wrong in the first place.

I am currently home on leave, and I was driving on a back road when I came upon a two car accident. 911 had been called by an eyewitness - and the other two people standing near the wreck had done...naught.

I didn't have to do anything drastic that I had been taught in CLS (no tourniquets, heh heh) but at least I could talk to two people who had been hurt (I think one was either a broken collarbone or dislocated shoulder and the second was acting concussed and complained of a hurt neck) and make sure they did not aggravate their injuries, and reassure them help was on the way (it was not long in coming at all, thanks to the small fire protection district's station being reasonably nearby). Once the gathering group of bystanders saw someone actually doing something, a couple of people did lend a hand - particularly one older gentleman that stayed and spoke soothingly to a toddler who was in the car that had received the worse of it.

SPECIAL ASIDE: Seat belts and children's car seats WORK! Use them. Please. Oh, and thank goodness for cell phones - often they are disparaged, but when you have an emergency on a rural road, they are a Godsend to contact help.

The small police force of the nearby village and the local FPD arrived quickly, and I gave them what information I had and got out of the way. I would stress that last point - once the people trained and employed to take care of the situation have the proper information and get to work, the best thing to do is not impede them.

I did nothing all that special, but I did take advantage of what the Army has taught me. Oddly enough, it was at home and not on a battlefield.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Kosovo is about to break away......

Another failure of the Clinton/Albright State Department we will have to fix again. Serbia will not let them walk away. The UN again is creating a nation/state it will not be able or willing to support. The last experiment of 1948 is still being worked on.

"Kite Runner" in theaters!!

It was an incredible book and it is on my Brigades reading list for deployment. If you have a chance to see a serious film this Holiday about sacrifice and redemption, this is it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Merry Christmas

We had our unit Christmas party last night. We had some of our training cadre join us, with some family members as well. It went very well, for being a kind of last minute thing. I made a small contribution to the levity of the evening with a song I whipped up - it goes to the tune of
"Que Sera sera" (as sung by Doris Day):

When I was a Class 36 soldier*
I asked the cadre, "what will I be?"
"Will I be a fobbit** or out in the weeds?"
This was their reply to me:

Inshallah, 'shallah***
Whatever will be will be
The future's not ours to see
Inshallah, 'shallah
It's out of our hands you see.

When I was in Arabic Class and Lab
I asked the teacher "how much do I need?"
"Should I stick to greetings [salaam]?"
"Or work on commands [awgaf!]?"
This was his reply to me:

Inshallah, 'shallah
Whatever will be will be
The future's not ours to see
Inshallah, 'shallah
It's out of our hands you

So I went to our Culture lessons,
I asked the instructor "how will it be?"
"Will they try to screw me?"
"Or will they be friendly?"
And this is what he said to me:

Inshallah, 'shallah
Whatever will be will be
The future's not ours to see
Inshallah, 'shallah
It's out of our hands you see.

Inshallah, 'shallah!

* this is the group I belong to
** fobbit - one who is loathe to ever leave their FOB (Forward Operating Base).
*** Inshallah - "As God wills" Quite often used in a fatalistic way, or in the same way as "Manyana" or "bhalla nalla".
salaam - "peace", awgaf - stop!

All in all, it was well received (everyone joined in the last chorus). I think it may be evidence that the two weeks leave I will be taking around Christmas is sorely needed...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Uh, I am trying to get ready for Iraq, not Greenland...

Maybe Mother Nature didn't get the word. I am supposed to be training to go to Iraq, you know, a HOT place.Fort Riley got it just as bad as everywhere else in the area.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Update from Fort Riley

As the cadre flee the expected "Katrina of ice storms", we had our range time for tomorrow cancelled. I am disappointed, because it was to be firing the M240B, medium machine gun. I grew up with the old M60, and was not so good with it. The M240B is different - and I mean different in a good way. Easier to deal with, easier to work on, and for some reason I can actually hit something with it...

Next week, Mr. M240B, next week!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Is there a longbowman stalking me?

Don't leave home without it. "It" being a whole bunch of armor and weapons. I must say that I cannot shake the feeling that an Englishman with a longbow would think he had a decent chance at taking me down...
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