I have been in the role of a combatant, and was in some of the fiercest fighting in Afghanistan and in Iraq, as a US Marine. I have taken life, and destroyed property.
After Iraq, I was seeking a path with heart and compassion, and I enrolled in nursing school. My instructors kept insisting that I should be a physician, if that appealed to me. They practically pushed me through the doors of a very fine university, which had an accelerated program for which they were actively recruiting vets. I was very lucky and grateful.
When I had completed my training, as an orthopedic surgeon, I decided that the best place for me was to work with military people. Today, I am a surgeon in the US Navy, billeted in Afghanistan. I came here from Germany, where I saw plenty of trauma. Here, I am more in the thick of it. Things are either quiet, and somewhat boring, or things are very busy with very long hours of work, with very severely wounded people.
At times, I work 24 hours per day, catching an hour or two of sleep, here and there. Logging onto places like CAF to maintain my sanity, and find some diversion.
After my day, today, I find myself ready to pick up a weapon, and head out into the field. I won’t describe what I have seen, or what I have heard about today, which I am fortunate not to have seen. This is a minor moral crisis for me. I’m furious right now. And, frustrated. I wish my powers to heal were much better.
I don’t really know why I am posting this. I guess I am just venting some rage. I can’t exactly do that with my patients, and doing so with my co-workers would only bring their morale down too.