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Operation Undergarment's Site for Aiding Our Wounded Soldiers

Operation Undergarment has created this site to better server our soldiers who have asked for our help. Below is a diary entry from Bruce Farnham while he served in Iraq and is the reason this site has been created. We will continue to support our wounded soldiers as long as we can with your help. Until they all come home and then some.

Sep 14, 2004
The day started with the on going pain in my lower left abdomen. The xrays for kidney stones and the lab work all showed negative. I was scheduled to go to sick call and let the Doc know how the tests turned out. It was now the 4th day of the pains and today it was the worst. I even felt light headed, like I was drunk. I struggled to the latrine and the showers. Enroute I ran into Jim N. He asked how I was feeling and I told the truth. He offered to get a Humvee and pick me up shortly and take me to the TMC. At the TMC Doctor C reviewed the test result and requested Jim take me back for a CT scan. The radiologist diagnosed the problem to be Diverticulitis. Jim took me back to the TMC where both doctors agreed I needed to go to Germany. I informed the commander and went to my trailer to pack. What do you take on a trip of unknown length? I have to count on it being only a couple weeks.

Capt. B and 1SG F took me to the CSH to schedule a flight to Germany. This is where the story shifted from me to the war that I seemed to avoid for the pass 6 months. Up until this point I had always flown above the trouble and the horrors of the war. I could see the results of the fighting on the ground and had a few bullets and RPG sent my way. But I had avoided the bloody horrors of war. Until now. As I waited for my flight the first patients rolled into the compound in a large white extended cab four wheel drive truck. A phone call had been received ten minutes earlier alerting the staff of 2 wounded in an IED attack / ambush. The hospital personnel swamped the truck and quickly grabbed the patients and whisked them to the EMT station for stabilization. I approached the truck to view the damage. The back window had been blown out. A two inch hole was in the roof of the truck just above the rear window. Bullet holes and scrapple holes covered the vehicle. The windshield also showed the damage of small arms and possibly the impact of a large object in front of the driver.

Blood was splattered throughout the vehicle. Pieces of flesh and skull bone lay on the floor of the truck. The rumor I had heard was apparently true. One KIA and one wounded. An Air Force sergeant quickly picked up the tissue parts in the cab of the truck. They were numerous enough that several were missed. This added to the shock and horror for those who walked by and looked at the damage to the vehicle. They got to see more damage than they wanted. They were quickly reminded where they were, in a War zone.

Several other patients were flown in as I waited. I stayed back out of the way and just observed. You could tell this was routine for these medical personnel. I wandered the hospital made up of tents and trailers. My curiosity getting the better of me. Several wards were occupied by sick or injured soldiers. One ward caught my attention; it was filled with Iraqi nationals. It was good to see they were getting the same medical treatment the Americans were getting. Medical treatment they could not get in Iraq. You could tell they we happy to be in the care of Americans. This was another horror of this war, Iraqis trying to kill other Iraqis.

I was later transported to a holding area, where patients wait to be transported to Germany for additional medical care. They were mostly soldiers who had been wounded in battle. I felt I did not deserve to be in this place of honor. I was reminded of the scene in Patton where he is in the hospital ward and he hits the soldier that was unwounded and called him a coward. A new patient was arriving and one of the medical personnel was looking for assistance unloading the soldier from the truck and putting him on a bed. I offered my assistance. It was only accepted out of desperation. They did not want a patient helping. I told them I did not feel like a patient.

The patient was a young soldier in his early to mid twenties, as we put him down he turned and looked at the soldier in the next bed. It was a soldier from his unit that had been in the same convoy attack. The first thing he asked was how a fellow soldier and his LT were. The other soldier, just shook his head. The young soldier asked if it was instanious and he got the answer he had hoped for. It was.

I did not stick around for the rest of the conversation. I tried to not let on I had been listening. No one else showed any sign either. Were they used to such conversations? Or did they walk away and think about it as I did?

The day before while in x-ray I listened to a couple doctors talked about what one of them tells his wife about Balad. He stated he wanted her to know what was going on without the details. He gave an example. Two days earlier we had a rocket attack here on Balad. As usual it hit nowhere near us. The unwritten rule is if it does hit your trailer or someone you know, you don’t worry about it. This one hit in tent city. A soldier was in line for the MWR phones when it hit. The doctor conveyed to the other how he told his wife that a soldier was injured. He said that was just in case she heard something on her own. He then stated that he did not tell her the soldier lost both legs and one of his arms. Not a lie, just a selective avoidance of the whole truth. There will be no avoiding the whole truth when that soldier wakes up at Walter Reed and has lost 3 of his four limbs.

The realization of what I read in the intelligence summary reports and see in the news becomes much more real. This is not a game, not that I ever thought it was. Lives and bodies are being torn apart. I have to ask myself, is it worth it. I quickly remind myself of what we are accomplishing and the answer is “yes.” I just pray I do not have to pay such a high price.

This site is dedicated to all those brave men and women who have served unselfishly and are now recovering from wounds and injuries received in the line of duty!

100% of all money raised on this site goes to our wounded soldiers!