Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Word Pictures from Iraq – A Glimpse at a Husband and Wife Serving Together

I recently received this fascinating e-mail from Iraq. It gives the unusual perspective of a husband and wife serving in Iraq in separate units. It also gives a flavor of the tremendous contrast between the routine of quotidian life and the sudden interruption by the horrors of mass casualty.

I thank Fauz and Josh Blakely for their permission to share these thoughts from Fauz’s brother, Saleh, who is serving with his wife, Kathy.

I’m back from a little trip I took to Balad also known as Anaconda, a money run. It’s a nice place run by the Air Force, they say it’s in Iraq, but everybody there seems to be having a good time, dances, all night poker tournaments, pool tables, darts, movie theaters.

In contrast: Last Saturday, we had an email to send to everyone to donate blood for a mass casualty. I hesitated to donate blood because needles aren’t really my thing. So I let it go, meanwhile it was approaching dinner time and my people wanted to go nourish themselves, so what I normally do is call Kathy and have her meet us at the office so we can walk to chow together. Her work said she was at the trauma center, assisting.

She actually had been in the vicinity of the trauma center when the request for blood came. So she was dragged into the mass casualty response without knowing what to expect. I’m sure she can elaborate on what she saw and did more than I can. Anyway I was frustrated that I couldn’t find her so, I walked over to the trauma center not knowing the magnitude of this situation. I saw body bags so I assumed there were a lot of dead folks about, but actually it was a way to keep the patient warm and clean while they are prepped for air transport. I had a chance to speak with some of the patients most of them kids and a dad with a baby in his arms, Kathy tended to some unfortunate children with shrapnel wounds and abrasions, concussions and lacerations. It was tragic and heartbreaking, young and old affected by car bomb set for mass destruction. In total 76 killed and 100 wounded. Needless to say it was a memorable experience; I wish I could have done more.

All is well, it seems like the Groundhog Day syndrome is taking affect (everyday is the same). I’m happy to see Kathy on a daily basis, and I miss you too and I really haven’t started counting the days because I don’t know when the end is yet. Say hello to anybody I missed, give all the beasts multiple kisses for Kathy and me. Keep the emails coming, because phones here aren’t reliable.

Capt Dagher

This is a small slice of life from the men and women serving our nation in Iraq. As always, I ask you to keep them and the families in your prayers.

God bless.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this story, Al. Sal is my brother and Kathy is the sweetest sister (in-law). We all really miss them and can't wait for them to come home (FEB 2008). Thanks for your prayers!! Fauz

Anonymous said...

Oh how wonderful to hear news of the Daghers. I miss them so. Kathy was my first friend in the Marine Corps and I haven't talked to her in at least a year. Tell them hello from the Charltons--come home safe & soon...miss you...Kerri

Anonymous said...

I hope they both come back from this dreadful war in good spirits mentally & physically..I miss you fauz..you are the only girl I ever fell for... i wish you the safe return of your brother and every happiness in life...matt

Wm. Rogers said...

I fished one summer with Sal and shared with him some of my favorite striped bass fishing areas. His thought process rivaled that of his sister and his conversation original. When I listen to Pink Floyd I think of a home in Shannock with oats and grains stored in glass canning containers; I still smell cat poop, and remember the warm nights filled with laughter God Bless Saleh - Come home soon. ANd Fauz - many blessings, I miss our conversations.