Problog

Hello and welcome to my blog. It is a blog about an Air Force Physician that was reluctantly deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan for 6 months.

I have to admit, I did not exactly volunteer for the deployment, and I was a little anxious about how it would all turn out. I ended up making the best of it, and surprisingly, I actually had a pleasant, life changing, experience.

I decided to keep the blog up and running because I kept on hearing, "Why is it that you only hear the bad news coming from Iraq and Afghanistan." I figured that I was helping spread a positive message about what we are doing over. Even more important, I wanted to continue to spread the word about the plight of the Afghan people, 99.9% of which are the most incredibly friendly people that you will ever meet. The title picture is a great example of that. I have never encountered such genuinely warm and friendly people. It was so strange to see so many people with so little material objects, yet at the same time, filled with so much of the joy that comes with close family ties, abundant friends, and a close knit community. We could definetly learn a lot from them.

You may notice, as you read the blog in its entirety, my arc. I shift from focusing on myself and my personal comforts, to shifting my focus on the Afghan cause. It is very easy to get distracted by the hustle of daily life and the comforts that the U.S. provides. It is really a challenge to awake from that coma and to start to care and think about the welfare of other people unrelated to you. I think it really took me about 4 or 5 months before I really opened my eyes and became personally affected by what I was experiencing. I hope I was able to recreate it.

I have tried to keep the blog squeaky clean so as to not offend anyone (or get me in trouble-I am still in the military). Even though I am a political junky with very strong personal opinions I have been steadfast in keeping this site free of any politics. I was called to do a job and I tried to do it to the best of my ability regardless of my political stance.

I recreated the blog to read more like a book, or should I say blook (get used to the corniness it only gets worse from here) just to make it an easier read. I have removed some names and pictures just to keep it more anonymous. I hope that it helps in making it less about me and more about the cause.

Lastly, in the spirit of the blog, I decided to include the Chipin Widget that I used to raise money for Nazia. If I get any additional money I will send the funds to The Women of Hope Project and someone over in Kabul will discretely give it to her (unless I hear otherwise). You can also contribute directly to the Women of Hope Project website. They are a wonderful cause. If you enjoy this blog then feel free to contribute. I am sure that once you read her story you will be very moved.

So kick back. Get ready to hopefully laugh and definitely cry.
If you like what you read then post a comment. I will be continuously editing this site in an attempt to improve it. Who knows maybe one day it will become a book!

Enjoy. Thanks for reading.

-Shazdoc

Today Show Clip

Chipin Widget

Friday, May 23, 2008

Live Life Like a Dog

Yesterday we had a “Coms Blackout” so I was not able to post a blog. A Coms Blackout is when they shut down all of the phones and the internet. They do this whenever a service member dies in Afghanistan. The purpose is so the military can personally inform the family instead if the family receiving the news in an email or a phone call. So for future references, if I do not write a post for a day it is probably because of the blackout. If I go two days without a post then we may have a problem. Please pray for the service member’s family who soon be receiving some very sad news.

I have a good friend from medical school that just so happens to be an excellent General Surgeon in the Air Force. He sent me a great email today. I distilled it down to its key message. It is about a boy and his dying dog and why dogs live such short lives.

"People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.


What a great message.

My wife and children are staying at my brother’s house. I believe the fires are under control in the immediate area where I live. I will keep you posted.

Today was not a very exciting day. We did a little vehicle maintenance. As you may know, our team is composed of relatively high ranking members so we unfortunately are left to do all of the less-then-glamorous tasks. I am posting a picture of the highest paid and best trained car washer in all of Afghanistan. A Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force with 20 years of practicing medicine under his belt and he is power washing a HUMVEE in Kabul, Afghanistan. It just goes to show what a great team I have.

Another good friend of mine sent me a care package today. Her name is Dani and her husband’s name is Mark they both live in California but they are currently in New York on vacation. She sent me a ton of candy, poker chips, a statue of liberty hat, and silly string. I hopefully will not be disarming any trip wires any time soon so the silly string should only be for fun.

I actually met Dani when I was in Iraq in 2003. She was an embedded reporter and she did a number of articles on our unit. I had a front page article in the Ventura County Times. My wife told me great story about when she was bought 10 copies of the paper as a souvenir. A young boy that was selling the paper asked her inquisitively why she was buying so many. She proudly pointed to the picture on the front page and replied, “Becasue this is my husband!” Ahhh, my 15 minutes of fame was so sweet.

Dani ended up coming home from Iraq early and she was able to contact my wife. They struck up a great friendship that continues today. Not only is Dani a great writer but she is also an accomplished painter and just an all around great person.

I provided a link to her an article she wrote summarizing her experience during the deployment.

http://www.danidodge.com/journalism/vc/iraq/firstperson1.html

Thanks for reading.

5 comments:

C. Valentine said...

While searching around online for info on Camp Phoenix, I came across your Blogs. My son has just arrived there and will be there for 6 months. I really appreciate your comments and the descriptions you give of your surroundings. It helps me to get a mental picture of where he's living...not to mention the actual pictures you provide which are great. Now I know what his "room" looks like. Your blogs help this Mississippi Mom rest a little easier. Keep posting.....be safe.

Anonymous said...

Please keep us posted on your family as well, they are in our prayers. This has to be really hard on them as well as you.
Keep up the good work and writings...making one mil spouse very happy and RELIEVED!!! :)
Take care, be safe and God Bless.

Lynette said...

It does my soul good to see a Lt. Col. washing a Humvee.

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Sildenafil said...

My wife and children are staying at my brother’s house. I believe the fires are under control in the immediate area where I live. I will keep you posted.