Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital

"Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital" by Dr. Heidi Squier Kraft

I read this book in a day. It was a book that reminded me of the sacrifices of every day people that do extraordinary things. It reminded me of the sacrifices so many people make so that I can have the freedoms I enjoy. It humbled me and made me oh so thankful. There really aren't words. It is a true story of a psychologist who gets deployed to Iraq, leaving behind her husband and twin 15 month old babies. She writes about life in Iraq and the Marines that she helps. "There are two rules of war. Rule number one is that young men die. Rule number two is that doctors can't change rule number one." This is the most frustrating thing for Heidi and she says "War damages doctors, too. They are damaged by rule number two." Doctors are meant to help and save but in the places and under the conditions they were in they couldn't and because of this they were damaged too. She was able to get a ice cold coke one hot day in Iraq and said, "Sometimes, heaven was redefined." It is the little things. "Can you believe that these sorts of absolutely insane situations face these people half our age every single day out here? Do we actually, realistically, expect them to be able to cope with this and not have any complications?" Our troops face things no one should ever have to face, ever. Yet they do. And how can we expect them to come home unchanged? We can't and we shouldn't. No amount of therapy can change what they see and have to do but at least it can make them feel like they aren't the only ones and they aren't crazy. They are true heroes and I am so grateful to them.

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