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Source: CJTF-HOA (and CentCom).

by U.S. Navy David-Michael Ross
CJTF-HOA.

DJIBOUTI, Horn of Africa (Jan. 11, 2008) — The surgeon cell from Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa met with the Djibouti Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Environment, Jan. 8 to tour the base and surrounding area to see first-hand environmental concerns and address sanitation issues. According to CTJF-HOA’s outgoing force protection officer, Lt. Cmdr. Karen Corson, there are concerns about the waste management measures in place outside of the perimeter of Camp Lemonier, however long-term goals and a commitment to an action plan will eradicate any potential future environmental issues.

“This is an educational exchange of information about the environment, where we get to show them what we in the military do here on base in order to protect the Djiboutian environment while we’re here,” Corson said. “We have an opportunity to take a look at their resources and together examine ways for them to fully utilize them when it comes to their landfills and waste management.”

Ministry representative, Dr. Ammar Abdo Ahmed said that as a result of CJTF-HOA personnel playing an integral role in local humanitarian efforts, he believes this collaborative meeting will also yield many positive results when it comes to working on solutions in the area of sanitation. “This is good that we are working as a team on a medical level, by looking at all of the factors and creating a long term action plan to take care of this problem,” Ahmed said.

CTJF-HOA incoming force protection officer, Navy Lt. Nick Martin, said traditional U.S. waste management solutions do not always translate to all regions in the world. “In the states we have many resources to set up a landfill, for example, you would have incinerators and heavy machinery to roll over the trash and you just don’t have those sorts of things available here,” Martin said. He stressed the importance of continued training and finding improved methods for handling waste.

Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa works to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interests in east Africa and Yemen through humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, consequence management, and civic action programs. This includes medical and veterinary care, school and medical clinic construction and water development projects.

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, Force Protection officers Lt. Nick Martin, left, Lt. Cmdr. Karen Corson and Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Environment, Secretary General, Aboubaker Douale Waiss visit the La Douda Waste Facility Jan. 8..

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So the Democrats say they want to see more visible effort on Iraqi government and her people before they will pay our men and women for the work we sent them there to do? Well, check this out:

CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – The number of Iraqi-led reconciliation efforts swelled over the past two weeks across Multi-National Division – Center as local Iraqi leaders seek to capitalize on an improved security situation by developing the institutions that will enable long-term stability.

With Coalition Forces and Iraqi Concerned Local Citizens working increasingly in tandem with the Iraqi Police and Army to solidify security relationships, a window has opened for local leadership to push forward business development and infrastructure repair and forge political relationships across sects and neighborhoods.

On Nov. 26, Khalif Haloos of the Sadr al Yusifiyah Nahia Governance Council hosted more than 500 sheiks from Sunni, Shi’a and Kurdish tribes. Also in attendance were Coalition Forces from the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), who were the invited guests of the Iraqis who organized the meeting. Security for this meeting, the largest of several important reconciliation gatherings in MND-C in recent days, was provided by the Iraqi Security Forces.

“This meeting was an example of Sunnis and Shias working together,” said Col. Dominic Caraccilo, commander of 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div (AASLT). “The ISF took the lead in providing security for the meeting, and we had representation from all the key players in that area. That dynamic, coming from the local level, could be an example for the national government.”

The sheiks discussed reconciliation issues, from the return of displaced families, to a pact that would allow Iraqis of all sects to travel freely through the sheiks’ territory without fear of sectarian reprisal. They also discussed restraining Iranian influence, suppressing the remaining insurgents in their territory, and ways to integrate their activities with Iraq’s central government.

On Nov. 27 [2007] at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, leaders of the Iraqi Army and Police met with elected officials and Coalition commanders to discuss security cooperation and coordination in Babil province.

Col. Michael Garret, commander of the outgoing 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, used the occasion to say goodbye to the Iraqi leaders with whom he had worked for more than a year. Working to build on those relationships now is Col. Thomas James, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

Although it’s early in James’ deployment, his brigade has seen many examples of local leaders taking steps to improve their community through Sunni and Shia cooperation, specifically from the Sunni sheik and the police chief in Musayyib. Both will tell you that they are Iraqis first, not Sunni or Shia, and only want what’s good for their country and citizens, James said.

Another meeting was held Dec. 1 on the other side of MND-C at Forward Operating Base Hammer, east of Baghdad. Iraqi civic and tribal leaders in attendance offered frank assessments of their needs and asked U.S. and Iraqi officials for continued support with stabilization efforts.

Col. Wayne Grigsby, commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, said after the meeting, “I’ve spent 35 months of my life in Iraq, and this is the best I’ve ever seen it.” He noted, however, that there remain opportunities to synchronize U.S. and Iraqi efforts.

Part of that direction involves parlaying improved security and cooperation among the different parties to build a stepped-up reconstruction program. Similar to the reconciliation conferences that took place, the reconstruction effort is manifesting itself across MND-C as community development projects.

On Nov. 28, the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. opened a new medical clinic in Narwhan after the project was approved by Iraq’s Ministry of Health. As a signal of its commitment to the initiative, the ministry hired three doctors to work at the facility, two of whom are female.

The following day, the 1-10th FA conducted a school bag and bottled-water drop in Sabah Nisan. School children there received 180 school bags and 3,500 cases of water, distributed by the Concerned Local Citizens.

On Nov. 26, the Al-Wehda Nahia council celebrated with Iraqi and Coalition Forces the completion of a well system in al Sadiq. The system includes water pumps, storage tanks, a generator and quarters for a caretaker. The project was a joint effort by local Iraqis and Coalition Forces.

Finally, on Nov. 28, Iraqis celebrated the graduation of a class of small businessmen from an entrepreneur training program in the Mada’in Qada. The program helps develop business skills and planning among local business owners and then provides them with micro-grants to revitalize their businesses. As part of the program, U.S. military and civilian officials assess the proposals of the Iraqi graduates and award grants of up to $10,000 to eligible candidates.

Now I want you to go to your phones and dial toll free at 1-866-340-9281, and tell the Democrats to PAY OUR MEN AND WOMEN! They wanted evidence? Here it is. To continue to ignore this fact, is to ignore any and all facts they with which they disagree politically. This is outrageous, and it should not be allowed to stand. Write about it, talk about it on the radio programs, do whatever you can. Our men and women did not ask to be deployed by the same people who are now refusing to pay them so that they can make political points back home. They really, REALLY, need to stop. Thank you.

Source: CentCom News Release.

Posts I’ve trackbacked to at Linkfest: The Florida Masochist: Marilou Ranario, The Florida Masochist: Weekly Dolphins prediction, Wolf Pangloss: Interplanetary: Open Trackbacks thru Tuesday, Stop the ACLU: Friday Free For All, Faultline USA, Adam’s Blog, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Shadowscope, Global American Discourse, Stuck On Stupid, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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  • 21. The Amboy Times: Father killed daughter for not wearing hijab.
  • 20. The Uncooperative Blogger: The Uncooperative Radio Show! Dec. 11, 12, 13 and 14.
  • 19. The Florida Masochist: The natives are restless.
  • 18. The Florida Masochist: The return of Mike Keenan.
  • 17. Faultline USA: Ilegal Aliens and Election Fraud.
  • 16. The Florida Masochist: The Knucklehead of the Day award.
  • 15. Planck’s Constant: Christmas Hotties.
  • 14. the so called me: Carnival of Family Life #3.
  • 13. Right Truth: Home for the Troops (original video for Right Truth).
  • 12. Republican National Convention Blog: Pearl Harbor Remembered.

    Crap. I have to wait until I reboot the computer…AGAIN. Arghh.

  • 11. Right Truth: Terror Symposium.
  • 10. The Florida Masochist: A mess of his own making.
  • 9. The Amboy Times: Presidential Candidates on Border Security.
  • 8. The Florida Masochist: The Knuckleheads of the Day award.
  • 7. Planck’s Constant: An Infidel Asks Muslims a Question.
  • 6. The Florida Masochist: Certainly not.
  • 5. Woman Honor Thyself: Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas TroopS!
  • 4. Planck’s Constant: A Light Unto All the Nations.
  • 3. The Virtuous Republic: Have You Heard about the Climate Change Performance Index Released at Bali?
  • 2. Big Dogs Weblog: Dems Knew About Waterboarding in 2002.
  • 1. Faultline USA: Moderate or Slippery Sliding Southern Baptists?
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    How’s your weekend?

    I’ll tell ya, I forgot about my hand being out of use, and I baked some chicken. Don’t forget, my brother was also sick, so he couldn’t go to the store. Besides, I cannot for the life of me get him to celebrate anything. He is not a bad person, he just believes that people should do the kind of things we do on HolyDays all year long. I couldn’t agree more, although traditions are a favorite for this gal. lol.

    Well, I forgot I only had the use of one hand, and it was something else. You should have seen me going at it. It sure was a sight for sore eyes. Good thing I had a stroke before, because I learned how to do things with only one hand. The only problem I had was the hand that I couldn’t use is the hand that learned how to do everything. Oh well.

    I’ve been pretty sleepy a lot, so this will be short. Many of the times I feel obliged to put some of the e-mailed news here, and it doesn’t feel right. Not that it isn’t important, it is. It’s just that I did not write it. On Thursday, that was my writing. It felt good to finally be free to write something of my own. Sometimes I ramble, but who cares, right? LOL.

    Well, that’s all for now. Thank you for stopping by, and may God bless your families, other loved ones, and you.

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    Please pray for The Florida Masochist

    The Florida Masochist has fallen off the face of the blogosphere, and I am worried about him. He is a good friend and a great writer. I know he wasn’t feeling well, so I am asking you to pray for his health and healing. I want him back here. Thank you.

    I cannot write too much when I am worried, so I will just allow others to speak for me in this open trackback alliance and Linkfest. Thank you.

    Update: HE’S BACK! Thank you for all of your prayers. Have a wonderful day. 😉

    Posts I’ve trackbacked at Linkfest and OTA: The Florida Masochist: Weekly Dolphins prediction, Pirate’s Cove: The Christmas Song, MacBro’s Place: I Wear My (Sun)glasses At Night, The World According to Carl: Open Trackback Friday — November 23, 2007, Woman Honor Thyself: Give Thanks to WomeN & MeN!, Stix Blog: 100,000 Strong For Earmark Reform, CommonSenseAmerica: Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! OTB Holiday Weekend!, The Crazy Rantings of Samantha Burns: OTA Weekend, Blog @ MoreWhat.com: Open Trackback Linkfest 11/23/2007, Perri Nelson’s Website: Random Stuff, Is It Just Me?: When The Bell Tolls – Ya Better Listen, 123beta: Light Up Louisville Open Trackback Weekend, Right Truth: China, Stix Blog: Woman and Man Poem, Stuck On Stupid: Thanksgiving Linkfest 11/21-11/25/2007, The Bullwinkle Blog: Moosetracks Open Trackbacks, Big Dog’s Weblog: Mona Charen of NRO Skewers Ron Paul, Chuck Adkins: It’s the Friday, “I’ve got a turkey hangover”, Open Trackback and Open Thread Festival, Phastidio.net: France’s Thatcher? Not Exactly [Weekend Open Trackback], Conservative Cat, Pirate’s Cove: TB Friday Featuring The Surrender Monkey: AP Admits Surrender On Surrender, and The Yankee Sailor: Weekend Open Post, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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  • 6. Blue Star Chronicles: Not Enough Parking for Private Jets at UN Climate Conference.
  • 5. Right Truth: Sunday Reading 11/25/07.
  • 4. The Florida Masochist: Where have I been. [Praise God!]
  • 3. Big Dogs Weblog: Democrats Cannot Embrace Victory.
  • 2. Planck’s Constant: Holocaust at the University of Kentucky.
  • 1. 123beta: Hudna.
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    Doctor’s visit

    I’m not going to be posting this for the Linkfest anymore. I’d rather keep it personal.

    The doctor thinks there may be something wrong with his liver. I do not. It isn’t because I know more than the doctor, I do not. But the hospital said he was anemic, the doctor said he is missing 5 pints of blood, and he claims it looks like someone who has been drinking. John hasn’t had a drink in over 22 years. There simply is no way that could be the cause.

    He did order many tests, so I feel good about that. We have to go back tomorrow, because he needs to have not eaten or drinking anything. Water is okay, though.

    He also ordered some prescriptions. I had them filled after sending him home. He was tuckered. Well, that’s about it. I’m bushed, so good night.

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    I woke up today and ended up over at my computer. I cleaned out the whole system because sometimes you can really get a bunch of unwanted spiders and other crawly things in there. No kidding! They make the computer slower than molasses.

    After doing this, I went to my email to find this link to Right Truth. It is quite interesting, to say the least. She claims that we bloggers may be spending too much time on our computers and I must confess, she is correct.

    I am a home bound person, which means I was just sitting in my house doing nothing but waiting for my number to be up. That is, until I found the net! This brought life back into my little part of the world. Before I knew it, my little part had grown so large! Do I spend too much time here? Probably. What would you have me do? Watch that crap on the just-for-boobs-tube? NO! (Not unless there’s a football game on or an old show. lol)

    I am only 47, but my first stroke was when I was 22. Bummer? NO! How can I say this? I had a diabolical plan for when I graduation which was adverted. THANK GOD! Are you kidding? No, I’m not going to you ehat it was. lol. Too much info, don’t ya think? 😉

    Getting back to the point…go check out Right Truth’s post. If you’ve ever been over there before, you know she covers many issues in one post. This woman is better than I. My hats off to ya, Debbie. 😉

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    I have earned the honor of being included in her article, so I believe it’s only fair for me to return that honor. That is why I am choosing this post, along with the fact that this is an important issue, for today’s Linkfest. Do you have a post you’d like to share? Come on, it will be good here. Just remember…NO PORN. My Christian site is being bombarded, and I’m sick of it. Well, that a post for a different day…

    Posts I’ve trackbacked to: Stop the ACLU, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, The Virtuous Republic, The Random Yak, AZAMATTEROFACT, Faultline USA, 123beta, Nanotechnology Today, Right Truth, The Populist, The World According to Carl, The Pink Flamingo, Phastidio.net, Dumb Ox Daily News, Stix Blog, The World According to Carl, Nuke’s, and Right Truth, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    Kind people who’ve trackbacked to this post:
    1. Stix Blog: I am a Bad American.
    2. The Florida Masochist: Weekly Dolphins prediction.
    3. The Florida Masochist: The Knucklehead of the Day award.
    4. Blue Star Chronicles: Worshiping the Gore God of Global Warming.
    5. Planck’s Constant: Arson at Home of Rabbi in Ukaine.

    From my other site:
    1. Right Truth: Blogging is Dangerous, Seriously.

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    I think my arm hurts, but I’m not sure

    For those who care but have not been able to follow this, I will try to put the beginning in a nutshell for you.

    1. I fell backward off the bathtub from where I was standing, and I hit my back and head.

    2. Two days later, my wrist and thumb were paralyzed.

    3. I waited several days to go to the hospital because I had a doctor’s appointment.

    4. Doctor wouldn’t look at it, wouldn’t refill prescription, because apparently I had no appointment.

    5. Went to the hospital the next day.

    6. Diagnosis: Left radial nerve palsy. This is a form of localized paralysis.

    Everyone caught up? lol. I have a cast on my left arm, apparently to keep me from moving my arm. Do not worry. I am only typing with one finger. Yes, it is a pain in my neck!

    Getting back to the pain. My wrist and thumb are numb, but they also tingle. The area around them is what is starting to really hurt. The muscle near my elbow and upper arm are in pain as well. The part that hurts is not my wrist or thumb, but other areas close and far away. I have learned, from a podiatrist, that just because the pain is located in one place does not mean that the source and/or the cure is not in a different place in the body.

    I have removed the cast twice now (three times, shortly) to scratch my arm because it’s itching. I’ve tried putting lotion on it so it would stop, but that only lasted a while.

    My brother was kind enough to take me both times to the doctor. Now his muscles are eating him alive. See, this is the first time we tried out my wheelchair, and she’s no lightweight! When you don’t exercise for a while, this can happen to you.

    My recommendations? Don’t stand on your bathtub without something to grab onto. I now need new shower curtains! lol. Do not put off going to the hospital, no matter how silly you think it is. You’re not the doctor. I did not know about this palsy stuff. It could be more serious than I first thought. If you can, take a cab! This way, you don’t injure those around you. EXERCISE!

    Please pray for John to heal quickly. I believe it’s a bad case of tendinitis. But then again, I’m not a doctor…

    PS. No kidding, you have to watch this. No2Liberals sent this to Nuke’s News & Views, but I just had to ‘borrow’ it. You will laugh your fanny off. Thank you for making me feel better. 😉

    Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis Add this post to Fark Add this post to Technorati Add this post to Del.icio.us <a href=”http://digg.com/submit?phase=2&url=http://rosemarysthoughts.com/2007/10/08/i-think-my-arm-hurts-but-im-not-sure/&title=I think my arm hurts, but I’m not sure&bodytext=1. I fell backward off the bathtub from where I was standing, and I hit my back and head.
    2. Two days later, my wrist and thumb were paralized.
    3. I waited several days to go to the hospital because I had a doctor’s appointment.
    4. Doctor wouldn’t look at it, wouldn’t refill prescription, because apparently I had no appointment.
    5. Went to the hospital the next day.
    6. Diagnosis: Left radial nerve palsy.”>Digg!

    Because of my ‘condition’, I would like to open up this post to an open trackback. I truly enjoy reading most of the posts that link here, and I have a feeling I’m going to have to take Jungle Mom’s advice for a while. Please join in the Linkfest!

    Posts I’ve trackbacked to: Perri Nelson’s Website, Leaning Straight Up, The World According to Carl, The Populist, Nuke’s, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson’s Website, Faultline USA, Big Dog’s Weblog, Conservative Cat, Conservative Cat and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    Kind people who’ve trackbacked with these posts:
    1. The Florida Masochist: The Knucklehead of the Day award.
    2. Planck’s Constant: Why Hannah Montana tix sell for so much.
    3. Blue Star Chronicles: Soldier Son is a Short Timer.
    4. Blue Star Chronicles: ABC Alerts Osama bin Laden Compatriots and al-Qaed.
    5. Blue Star Chronicles: He Dropped His Drawers for the Freedumb Run.
    6. The Florida Masochist: The Knuckleheads of the Day award.

    Comments from Rosemary’s Thoughts.com:
    1. Comment from Christi.

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    diog: left radial nerve palsy

    i would like to thank everyone for their heart-felt prayers for me, first of all. I was correct. it was a nerve. gee, i hope it wasn’t me! lol. if that doesn’t make sense (and it doesn’t, lol), please don’t worry. they put a cast on my wrist from my fingers all the way to my elbow. just thought i’d let those who were concerned how i am doing. 😉

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    Open Trackback: and they thought they couldd keep me down. lol.

    trackback to this post: http://rosemarysthoughts.com/2007/10/05/diog-left-radial-nerve-palsy/trackback/

    posts i have trackbacked to:

    to find the people who’ve trackbacked to this post, please follow the link above provided for trackbacks to this post.

    Thank you, everyone. I will try to put your post on the front page (at the other site), but don’t hold your breath. my whole arm hurts now! lol.

    p.s. nighty-night…

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    Just in case you were wondering…

    I am going to tell you about the struggles I am having with my left hand. A few days ago, it was working fine. I found myself sleeping at the computer again, and I had lost the feeling in my hand. Well, not actually the feeling because it was tingling, but I could not move my fingers.

    I have had 3 strokes before, so I know the symptoms. It was not stroke related. It is not even related to my fingers, oddly enough. The problem starts with my wrist. I can find pressure points all up and down my arm and even underneath my arm! Crazy how our bodies are connected.

    I’ve still not gone to a doctor, but my fingers seem to be regaining strength. I can actually pick something up now, as long as I don’t have to raise it over my head. I have a suspicious it may be only a slight bit of tendinitis. I’ve been trying to rest my hand by using just one finger. lol.

    The odd thing is I cannot use my thumb. This is also affecting my movements in my wrist as far as peripheral reach. (The area of stretchability or reach.)

    So there’s really no big story here. I’m fine. I’m sure my wrist will be back in action soon. Until then, I have some really cool military stories that I have permission to copy/paste. If you choose to ‘borrow’ any of them, please give the credit to the person(s) who actually wrote the article. You could also be kind enough to let people know where you found it. 😉

    Well, I guess that’s it. Not too much to it, eh? That’s the GOOD news! Have a great day.

    PS. I have reached 3000 hits on my blogger site, but I do not know who to give credit for it. Therefore, I shall give the post the credit, and all who came to visit my blogger site. It is one of my Military sites posts which I have permission to copy/paste their articles, so please give the person who actually wrote the article credit if you chose to ‘borrow’ any of them. Thank you.

    UPDATE: 18. Leaning Straight Up: San Francisco’s Anti Military Disease Spreads to Oakland. A MUST READ, says me. Toll free to the Capitol: 866-340-9281. Do the right thing.

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    14 Aug 07
    Sgt. Robert Yde
    2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Public Affairs
    .

    FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERITY, Iraq – With the opening of Montpetit Pool here last month, Soldiers from the 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, have had a daily escape from the summer heat.

    While most Soldiers are making use of the cool water for leisure, another group of Soldiers meet at the pool every Saturday to work through injuries sustained during their current deployment.

    “Normally, in the states, where you have the gym with the pool, you always incorporate pool therapy,” said Sgt. John Hart, a physical therapist with Company C, 15th Brigade Support Battalion. “It allows you to become more functional, faster without compromising the rehab for certain injuries. If you’re doing weights or standard exercises in the gym, there’s always that fine line where you can be doing the exercises and the next thing you know, the patient has a setback because maybe the resistance is too much,” he said.

    The pool gives Soldiers both a strengthening and an aerobic workout, according to Capt. Matthew Larson, physical therapist, Co. C, 15th Bde. Spt. Bn. “The water provides good resistance for limb movement and it’s a good lower impact, but still vigorous, workout for people with certain injuries.”

    Patients also meet twice a week at the FOB’s gym and three times a week at the troop medical clinic, but Sgt. Hart said the pool sessions are patients’ favorite part of therapy.

    According to Spc. Tyler Burdette, Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, who is currently undergoing physical therapy after tearing a ligament in his knee, pool therapy is his most demanding workout. “It’s the hardest, most strenuous thing we do,” he said. “But it helps because a lot of times, with injuries, you can’t support your own body weight, and that’s the hardest part about working out.”

    Like Spc. Burdette, most Soldiers undergoing pool therapy have lower-body injuries, and most of the exercises are designed to work patients’ ankles and knees. “It’s mainly a lower extremity workout, so we start with just some basic leg stretches and then some non-impact exercises like flutter kicks,” said Capt. Larson. “If you have a knee injury or an ankle injury, you can get a good workout because you’re still moving everything, but you’re not impacting that injury as hard as you would by running in formation.”

    Individual, upper body exercises are integrated into the program for Soldiers like Sgt. Amanda Sweesy, who has been undergoing physical therapy for her rotator cuff since March. “It doesn’t cause me as much pain as the gym, so I don’t mind it at all,” said Sgt. Sweesy, Co. B, 15th BSB.

    Even uninjured Soldiers can benefit from pool therapy, said Sgt. Hart. “You can do it for preventive stuff,” he said. “I have a lot of people who have found out about the pool therapy and they ask me, ‘Is there any exercise I can do in the pool for my PT?'”

    The Army has only recently started assigning physical therapists to brigade combat teams. According to Sgt. Hart, it minimizes the time Soldiers may have to spend recovering away from the unit at combat support hospitals. “It was really demanding on the units because they need the manpower to continue on and do the mission,” he said. Physical therapy this far forward is a really good idea. I think it’s helping the brigade combat teams stay in the fight better.”

    Photo – Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, stretch out before beginning a session of pool therapy Aug. 11. The brigade’s physical therapist, Capt. Matthew Larson, added pool therapy to Soldiers’ rehabilitation program after Montpetit Pool opened at central Baghdad’s Forward Operating Base Prosperity in July. Photo by Sgt. Robert Yde.

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    1 Aug 07
    by Spc. Mike Alberts
    3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
    .

    KIRKUK, Iraq – Temperatures exceeded 115 degrees during the five-hour mission in Amerli that day. More than 50 Soldiers were on site and tensions were high; Amerli was the scene of a massive suicide truck bombing just four days earlier.

    Soldiers kept alert, but visibly struggled under the weight of dozens of pounds of battle gear. Throughout the sun-scorched day, all but two Soldiers limited their movement as much as possible. All but two could afford that luxury.

    “Bolo” and “Collver” continuously walked up and down the lines of men. “Drink water,” they repeated. “Are you feeling OK?” they asked. They were the two Soldiers charged with ensuring that each man stayed hydrated and returned safely to base. As usual, they were the mission’s only dedicated medical personnel.

    Spc. Vanessa Bolognese and Spc. Aimee Collver, combat medics, Personal Security Detachment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, kept all their male counterparts healthy “outside the wire” that day in Amerli just as they do every day in the Kirkuk Province, Iraq. Neither is doing exactly what she thought she’d be doing in the Army, but neither would trade her job for another.

    “Before I enlisted, I was going to school to become a [registered nurse],” said Bolognese. “I wanted a medical job and my [military occupational specialty] is called health care specialist,” said the 21 year-old from Chino Hills, Calif. “In fact, the first time I heard the term ‘combat medic’ was during [advanced individual training] at Fort Sam Houston. They pretty much told us there, ‘You will be deploying. You will be working in Iraq.'” Bolognese’s colleague and roommate had similar motivations.

    “I’d been working in a nursing home after high school,” said Collver. “When I walked into the recruiter’s office I knew that I wanted a medical job,” explained the 23 year-old from Puyallup, Wash. “The health care specialist job was available, and I was told that I would be working in a hospital setting,” she said. “Of course, I don’t work in a hospital and nothing out here in Iraq is anything like what I thought.”

    What each combat medic is doing in Irag is working as the designated medical asset to the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s Personal Security Detachment (“PSD”). The PSD’s primary mission is to transport certain members of the brigade’s command group around 3IBCT’s area of operation. The PSD also provides personal security for the command group to and from their various destinations and while on site, according to Staff Sgt. Jeremy Brandon, non-commissioned officer-in-charge, PSD, 3IBCT.

    Brandon is a native of Jacksonville, Fla., and is serving his third combat deployment. He’s charged with supervising both Bolognese and Collver and explained why each Soldier is vital to mission success. “We often conduct operations as an independent element,” explained Brandon. “For that reason, we need to have our own dedicated medical support. Bolognese and Collver are that support. We always have one of them with us wherever we go,” he said. And Brandon couldn’t be happier with their performance.

    “Both Soldiers are everything that one could ask for in a medic,” he continued. “They have done an outstanding job staying on top of their skills. They’ve constantly taken it upon themselves to retrain and stay certified, and have done an excellent job both outside the wire and back here on the [Forward Operating Base] by taking the initiative to give us various medical classes.”

    Brandon’s PSD Soldiers agreed. “We all respect them for their abilities as medics and as Soldiers,” said Sgt. Brian Tabor, squad leader, PSD, 3IBCT. Tabor is a five-year veteran serving his second combat deployment. “We haven’t had any issues because they’re female,” emphasized the Sacramento, Calif., native. “Bottom line: They’ve been a valuable asset to the PSD and it’s been a good thing having them with us.”

    As for Bolognese and Collver, even though neither is working in the comfortable confines of a hospital, each loves her job and wouldn’t choose to do anything else. “Of course, the job is mentally challenging because of the unknown anytime you leave the wire,” said Collver. “But I love being with this group because there’s so much camaraderie. I take a lot of pride in knowing that they’re well taken care of because I’m there for them,” she said.

    “Their well-being depends on me when I’m with them,” echoed Bolognese. “In that sense, it’s wonderful to know that when I look back at my deployment I can say that I did go out there every day and risk my life to take care of other Soldiers,” she said. “That’s a lot more than most people can say.”

    Photo – Army combat medics, Spc. Aimee Collver (right) and Spc. Vanessa Bolognese (center), both with the 25th Infantry Division’ 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Personal Security Detachment, take a moment to interact with the local population and relax during a mission in Amerli, Iraq, July 11. Photo by Army Spc. Mike Alberts.

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    Good-bye Merv Griffin, and thank you

    Merv Griffin died today from prostate cancer. He was 82. He was well-known for his contributions in the entertainment field. He created such game shows as The Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. I’m sure there are many more things he has created, because I did not connect him with those. Yet when I heard he was in the hospital in terrible condition, my heart sank. We will miss you, Merv. Thank you for the many smiles and memories.

    I want all of my male readers to hear me loud and clear. The only reason he lived as long as he did is because HE WENT TO THE DOCTOR. He was keeping his cancer in check, and the only way he could do that was to go to the doctor in the first place. Please, do not be afraid or embarrassed. It will save your life. So I expect each of you to get a check-up. Do it for me, okay? Thank you. Have a nice day.

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    Urgent Request

    I have just found out that a couple of days ago a very good friend of mine was hospitalized and had triple by-pass surgery on his heart. I am begging for everyone who reads this to please pray for John Darby’s speedy recovery. This means I expect him to recover.

    Dear Heavenly Father,

    You are the Supreme Doctor. You can hear our prayers, and You can Heal anyone of anything. Please hear my petition for John Darby. God, I know I’ve been away far too long, but please do not punish John for my sins. Please Heal him, Lord. Hear our prayers. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

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