Sunday, January 19, 2014
Well yesterday was the day...the beginning of the deployment. It's kind of like ripping off a band aid, it hurts so much in the moment, but then...once the initial sting wears off...you realize you will actually survive. And we will...all of us.
Now we can countdown instead of counting up.
Just so you understand the way this all works...there is quite a bit of training that has to be completed before we can step a boot on the Afghan sand. So I'll be playing Narmi (Navy personnel doing Army training) for a while until I actually arrive in theater. But honestly, it already has proven to be some of the best trauma training I've ever experienced. And after the theater specific medical component of our training we'll switch gears to combat training and become as familiar as possible with daily life in a war zone.
I'm sure the thought of me in full "battle rattle" (all the combat gear we have to wear) isn't pleasant for you... but I will say I'm very blessed to have the opportunity to learn these possibly life saving skills.
I also have to say a bit about the team I'm with. Here, at our first training stop, I live in a hut with 12 women. Some are mothers, some are wives... but we are all nurses. In this we have already formed a bond. We take the teamwork and "having each other's back" adage to heart and look out for one another, even this early in the game. We are all well aware that it's going to be a long, stressful deployment and we must watch out for our shipmates... always.
The other nurses, doctors, and corpsman here with us are also wonderful. The biggest lesson through all the training is the stress on teamwork. We are to live and breath this daily. Through our teamwork, lives will be saved...a lack of it could cause deadly gaps in care. The instructors started this lesson off early with a drill on team building yesterday... let me tell you, a bunch of military members doing PT in a team environment is especially hilarious (all I'll say is 4 count everything).
We have been warned that the next few weeks will be difficult physically...but our time in theater will be even harder, mentally and emotionally. Although I'm apprehensive, I'm excited. I'm ready for the challenge and entirely looking forward to the training ahead. I promise to keep you as updated as I possibly can despite the crazy training schedule.
I love and miss you guys already.