Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Off I go...

Well, after a whirl wind of a preparation due to the short notice, the day came to depart. My family accompanied me to the airport and were able to see me off to the gate. It really hasn’t hit any of us yet that I am leaving. So far, it feels just like another conference or business trip. The kids are so use to me being gone, i.e. on call or home late, that I don’t know if they will fully grasp it for a couple of weeks. I probably won’t until I get there.

The base is an Army Forward Operating Base (FOB) near Khost, Afghanistan which is near the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. It has been there for several years and actually has a structured hospital with a CT scanner. In addition to taking care of injured soldiers, I will have the opportunity to participate in the local national clinic that provides humanitarian surgery. Apparently people come from hundreds of miles around to be seen in this clinic. I will have to refresh my memory on diseases within developing countries!

Although it will be difficult to be separated from my family, I feel privileged to be able to do this. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience. I will be faced with situations that I never dreamed of. It will really be a growing experience both personally and professionally. My anxiety isn’t over my safety (I’ll be protected by big, buff, automatic weapon toting, security forces, I’m not nervous about Kris and the kids (they are in a great neighborhood with a lot of support), I’m primarily worried about whether or not I will be up to the task.

I will use this blog to document and share my experiences while I am here. I hope it will allow my friends and family to see and better understand a world that is so greatly separated from the luxuries and safety we so easily take for granted. As I will be travelling for the next several days, I will post again once I reach Manas AFB. Take care.


  1. As a former English teacher, I just have to comment how well you write! I will be anxious to hear about your many adventures.

    ...and about your concern as to wether you are up to the task...come on Steve! You are the smartest, most hard working, dedicated and passionate guy I know. You will be awesome. (and I am not just saying that because I am your sister!:))

    Good luck!
    Love ya, Jen

  2. vedy nice! now you need to add some widgets! love ya :x

  3. Hey Dr. Steve:
    This is a great idea. Now we'll all be able to check in, catch up and offer wise guy remarks.

    Thanks for reassuring us regarding your safety.

    You'll be great as always.


  4. A blog is perfect! What a great way to journal all your experiences. I agree with Jenny... you will be awesome!

    Take Care,

  5. Hey Steve,
    This blogging is a great idea. And, I am looking forward to each and every post. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, and that i know that you are going to make a great positive difference in the lives of both soldiers and civilians.

    love to you and yours,


  6. Dear Steve:
    I just visited Grandpa Max and did another dramatic reading of your blog posts. He was amazingly engaged -- couldn't get enough. Keep them coming. Fascinating times, fascinating experiences - unfortunately, it seems to take multiple crises to focus our attention.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers.