I have not written anything in a while, but that is because I have been extremely busy. Prior to yesterday I had been on missions for the previous 5 days. Yesterday was my first day back at the FOB all day and that day was swamped catching up on paperwork issues and mentoring of the ANA CSM. Today I am on the FOB, but also swampedâ€¦.but able to crank out some blog entries. Tomorrow I am on a mission again, so I better get them written today.
What I want to write about today is not a happy subject or one that will make you feel goodâ€¦.but one that is a cold reality of this country and culture. Yesterday, one of our team members, SFC F was at the Aid Station getting his back looked at. While he was in there a local small child was in there being attended to. See, our US Military aid station is very well equipped with surgeons and specialist. It is the best medical care that many local afghans would ever see. So if there are locals that need medical attention, we will care for them and even evac them if needed. Anyway this little kid was there and being treated for something, and while this was happening the Afghan doctor that works in his own little clinic next to the US Aid station came over. The father of this child saw the afghan doctor and asked for some cough medicine. While he was doing this, the child went critical, which caused every US medical person in that clinic to stop what they were doing and everyone focused on that child. The father was more concerned with himself than with his own child. He left the clinic and went next door to get cough medicine from the Afghan doctor. When he came back, he was smiling and talking with the doc. At this point, his child was clinically dead and the US medics and doctors were frantically trying everything they could do in order to bring the child back (CPR, etc.). They worked on this child until the point of no return. The whole time this was going on, the father acted like nothing was happening and just kept talking to other Afghans in the clinic. After the toddler-child was pronounced dead, they told the father who just responded with â€œEnshalaâ€. Enshala means Godâ€™s Will, and is a term that is used a lot in this part of the world when accidents happen, people are late for a meeting, etc. They say enshala, shrug their shoulders and just donâ€™t worry about it. That is one thing if you have a vehicle accident, it is something else when your 2-4 year old dies right in front of you.
So he said Enshala, they wrapped the childâ€™s body and he leftâ€¦.smiling and saying goodbye to the Afghan doctor. No remorse, no sadness, no thanks to the US docs that tried to save his child. This is the crap that we see. This is the culture that regardless of how hard we try, we will never understand. SFC F has children, and it was everything he could do not to jack the guy. I must say he may have had more restraint than I would. I am not sure how I would respond either, but I know a large part of me would be wanting to kick some sense into that guyâ€™s ass.
See this is the type of stuff you will never hear about in the news. You wonâ€™t hear about US soldiers that donâ€™t know this child from any other, yet they are brought to tears when they lose this child in front of them regardless of what they tried. You wonâ€™t hear about fathers that have no care if their child lives or dies. You wonâ€™t hear about how US military medics will respond 24/7 whenever a sick or injured local comes to the front gate asking for help. In the last day, I have heard on the radio of a man shot in the back, a 60 year old woman having an asthma attack, and a child with shrapnel wounds that was in critical condition just this morning. This is just happening at this one FOB, one of many in the country that are helping people every day, while at the same time trying to kill all the bad ones we can.
The NY team adopted a phrase that included the term Enshala while we were training in Miss. We would say EMF anytime something did not happen our way. I wonder now how much more I will say that phrase now in a joking manner, now that I know how the locals use it for real.