One might imagine a US Army surgeon might see the worst of it all come through his ward.
Here is one who writes home.
This is a note from our cardio thoracic surgeon friend who was in practice with Win. He volunteered at the age of 56 to enlist in the service. The Army took him and has him stationed at a hospital in the middle of Baghdad... (Tim's note: Surgeons don't "enlist", strictly speaking...they are commissioned as officers.)
Apr 20, 2004, at 9:33 AM, Charles Edwards wrote:
Everybody: thank you once again for keeping me in your sights. I thrive on the messages and appreciate each one.
The pace has slowed dramatically and the number of American casualties has fallen. I spent the afternoon operating on a prisoner at the Iraqi prison who was mortared by his own terrorist friends separating him from his leg and a large chunk of his shoulder. Caring for these terrorists is the biggest challenge I have.
We have been told that all of us will be extended until further notice. I was scheduled to leave Iraq on May 11 but that may not happen at this point.
I know that the news is bad from here but it is exaggerated and the troops I see are in good spirits. The majority of the Iraqi people want what we have and unfortunately there is a group that has been displaced and they don't like it. The next two to three weeks will be decisive here and hopefully things will calm down.
The judicial courts are all open, the electricity is flowing at greater than prewar levels, the children are going back to school and the Iraqi police and Army are getting stronger. It will not all be a happy progression and it really is up to the Iraqi people to confront the evils in their society. I worry that the core values needed to govern fairly and wisely have never existed here and to develop a sense of justice at this late hour is a tall order.
I will close with one last thought. There is one lasting impression in every Arab nation, every Arab leader and citizen and it has nothing to do with negotiations, cease fires, weapons of mass destruction, etc. It is the indelible image of the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq and that unbelievable firepower that did in 28 days what the Russians could not do in 12 years and what annihilated the Iraqis on their home soil in a month.
This will endure and prove to spare American lives in the future at home and abroad.
Keep the faith.