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

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sleeping With The Fishes

"To be positive: To be mistaken at the top of one's voice."
-Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary US author & satrist (1842-1914)

Good afternoon. LtCol Peters and a few of my office mates returned from the new clinic this afternoon. LtCol Peters took what I think is my favorite picture of this entire trip. They were leaving from the clinic when this child on this donkey passed them by. Look closely and you can see that he is saluting the convoy.


I got a really great package and a ton of letters from an 8th grade class in Gaffney, South Carolina. I thought I would share of few snippets from some of the letters. I found them to be funny.

Hey. what have you been doing? Me, nothing much. I wish I could be home sleeping. This morning my teacher fell out of her chair. She said it was gracefully. I am bored. Life is crazy I can only imagine what it is like over there.

I have got horrible grades in Ms. Ivy's class. I am trying to get better grades. I do not know what my parents will do if I make an F.

Hello, I am going to church camp this weekend with my church. Also, my friend Josh has this piece of smarties paper and there is gum on it. He was sticking it on other people and it was really funny. Have you heard of the game Halo? I can play one of the theme songs on guitar.

Hi you long distance pal. I have a beef with you. You see this is the second letter and I still have not gotten a reply. That is something I do not understand. I am writing to know how it is in Kabul because nothing special is going on over here in Gaffney.

I better write to her before her beef with me gets any worse.

Yesterday while I was at the MOD a high ranking ANA General approached me and asked if I could help with a medical problem that one of his family members was having. I gladly agreed and asked him to meet me at the Camp Phoenix medical clinic. It was kind of funny because I had this sureal Sopranos moment while I was gathering her history. I thought to myself, I better not make an mistakes or else I will be sleeping with the fishes. I am obviously just kidding but it is true Tony Soprano was running through my mind.

I just read this from a fellow blogger at http://docinthebox.blogspot.com/ The History channel is doing a special on military blogging. You might want to check it out.

BAND OF BLOGGERS on the History Channel on Friday, 11/9, at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT; with an encore presentation on Monday, 11/12 at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT. Check out this very special hour and support our troops! You won't be sorry.

"Explore the impact of blogging as a new medium for immediate and raw information. In the midst of modern day combat examine the unfiltered and raw evolution of military blogs and bloggers. Listen as soldiers who during their recent Iraq deployments reflect on the important connection they had with their blogging and how the band of military bloggers has revolutionized the way we understand combat. Experience firsthand, unfiltered accounts of the pain, the hardship, and even the simple beauty found in Iraq; stories that often go unseen in the media's coverage of the war."

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Doc,
I am so enjoying your daily blog....especially the quotes! I have had a good chuckle or two because of your writing. Thanks so much and for your service to our country.
MReynolds

Kristen - SA VA Team Leader/Community Team Leader said...

I love the photo! And I am enjoying reading through your posts. I am going to check out the show on military blogging. Have you read Matt Burden's Blogs of War?

Your SA e-pal in AZ,

Kristen

M. Simon said...

Here is a little morale booster from a vet:

The author of I Wanna Go Home, Karridine, has authorized me to give away 1,000 free copies of the song to our men and women in the military for personal use only. However, recipients of a free copy can let anybody listen to it if they want. Members of the military can put it on their i-pod, use it on their computer, or make one CD.

You can find out how to get a free copy at 1,000 Free Copies.

If you want a copy for review e-mail me. My e-mail address is on the sidebar.

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