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.


Today Show Clip

Chipin Widget

Friday, February 1, 2008

Highest Mountain

And as I leave, let me say, that is an example I think all of us should remember. We think sometimes when things happen that don't go the right way; we think that when you don't pass the bar exam the first time -- I happened to, but I was just lucky; I mean, my writing was so poor the bar examiner said, "We have just got to let the guy through." We think that when someone dear to us dies, we think that when we lose an election, we think that when we suffer a defeat that all is ended. We think, as T.R. said, that the light had left his life forever. Not true.

It is only a beginning, always. The young must know it; the old must know it. It must always sustain us, because the greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes and you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.

And so I say to you on this occasion, as we leave, we leave proud of the people who have stood by us and worked for us and served this country. We want you to be proud of what you have done. We want you to continue to serve in government, if that is your wish.

Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.

And so, we leave with high hopes, in good spirit, and with deep humility, and with very much gratefulness in our hearts. I can only say to each and every one of you, we come from many faiths, we pray perhaps to different gods -- but really the same God in a sense -- but I want to say for each and every one of you, not only will we always remember you, not only will we always be grateful to you but always you will be in our hearts and you will be in our prayers.

Thank you very much.

Richard Nixon - August 9, 1974

Hello. I have made it back home safe and sound. Thanks again for all of your support.

I somewhat changed the end of the story. I took out a lot of the final days stuff. I think that I was starting to get a little too jaded. You would have thought that what I was doing was a good thing but I actually received a lot of heat from my blog. I have to say, looking back I am very proud that I stuck with it despite the tremendous amount of heat that received. I was either self-serving or I was going to start an international incident or I shouldn't discuss that topic or why does this other website have you as a link or I think you should delete the paragraph where you mention president Bush, etc., etc.. It was enough to drive you nuts.

Life back at home is great. I have picked up where I left off with my family. I have started to work at a new job. I am seeing a lot of inner city/low income patients. It is very fulfilling work.

I will always have fond memories of the people that I met in Afghanistan. I look back with only pleasent thoughts. I hope that they can continue on the progress that I was a small part of and that they eventually live in a country that is free.


Thanks for reading.


Blue Butterfly said...

We sure would love to have you come to Lexington, SC. Lexington Medical Center is a nice place and there is Lexington Urgent Care also. Providence, Richland Memorial, Baptist are nice big hospitals as well. Are you family practice or some other specialty?

Blue Butterfly said...

I flit, I fly, I move here and there, the BlueButterfly is here again!

Blue Butterfly said...

BTW, what is "SHAZ" doc, if you don't mind my asking.

Laurel-Books For Soldiers said...

We are so glad you are safely home with your loved ones! And, thank you so much for reinstating your outstanding blog about your experiences in Kabul. I think it is critically important for people around the world to know about and understand the culture of Kabul and the country of Afghanistan. Some day maybe your wonderfully interesting writings and photos will be compiled into book form for even more people around the world to enjoy. Thank you, again, for your service to our country and to the world. We will be forever appreciative and indebted.

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