Erin Virginia

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Back from Annual Training

Chris and I finished annual training on Thursday and drove home that night. Our two weeks at Camp Edwards ended up being very relaxing, more like a normal job than military duty. We staffed the medical clinic in support of other Massachusetts units on annual training but didn't have much "business." The day began at 7:45, with people rotating coffee runs, and ended at 4:00 at which point we were released for the day. We attended some training classes put on by the P.A. and doctor (including a suturing class for which we practiced on pig's feet) but otherwise had a lot of down time. The most severe case we saw was a soldier with a possible concussion from being hit in the head with the butt of a rifle. And yes, we brought Greta with us and holed her up in an empty room of the clinic.

Helicopter ride at Camp Edwards

Evening at Old Silver Beach

Back at the clinic

Such a good little soldier

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Importance of Seat Belts

Last Friday, our unit released us early from the clinic (at Camp Edwards) so Chris and I decided to drive back to Boston for the evening. We threw our bags in the car and headed north. About twenty minutes outside the city, we noticed traffic was completely stopped in the southbound lane across the median rails. The freeway was empty for at least a mile, and a seeminly invisible wall prevented any cars from moving. As we neared the scene, we noticed a car smashed into the guardrail, two people huddled on the shoulder, and a man flopped facedown in the middle of the freeway.

Chris and I pulled over and jumped over the rails, still in our military uniforms. We found out later that the man lost control of his car, rammed into the median and was ejected face-first into the road. Chris and I had no medical equipment with us but felt obligated to help - he was gurgling on his own blood. I stabilized his spine while Chris rolled him over, and then I opened his airway. One eye was completely obliterated from his face skidding on the pavement, and his other eye was open, pupil dilated and unresponsive. I held his head, keeping his airway open, but he was breathing in gasps from a bloody mouth. A first responder arrived with minimal equipment, and we put in an airway and started bagging him with a bag-valve mask. By the time the ambulance arrived and the paramedics took over, we had lost his pulse and initiated CPR.

Even though I'm a military medic, I've never needed to respond to such severe trauma. We receive trauma training but with little application. We usually see dehydration, poison ivy, maybe burns at the worst. Chris has more experience from working as a laboratory technician in the E.R. at Regions Hospital.

I read in the Boston Globe yesterday that the man died at the hospital. I think he must have been a correction's officer at a prison because he was wearing a bullet proof vest, but I don't know much else about him.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day, etc.

Just want to send belated Happy Father's Day wishes to both our dads. We really appreciate you both. Chris and I are at Camp Edwards for annual training for the next couple weeks and have limited access to email. I'm driving back to Boston twice a week for my summer class but will be heading back to the cape tomorrow morning. (I'm writing this on break from my class).

Much love to all our parents and grandparents.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Weeks Between

Apologies for the delay in blogging – our computer crashed and required intensive rehabilitation. Over Memorial Day weekend, I flew to Minnesota to throw Bonny a bridal shower and a bachelorette party. One of Bonny’s friends, who lives near Lake Calhoun, volunteered her apartment to start the festivities, and we stayed in the general vicinity for the rest of the day.

I also celebrated my twenty-fifth birthday (sigh) and finally met my friend Audra’s adorable, four-month-old baby girl. The weekend was great – I had some time to relax with my parents and nieces.

My summer literature course started two weeks ago, but I only have four weeks left! I am taking the second summer session off to enjoy evenings in July and August with Chris before he starts law school. Chris plans to rotate his job as an analyst to Eastern Bank’s downtown Boston headquarters sometime in July: that means back to sweaty public transit for him.

In two weeks, Chris and I head to Camp Edwards at the base of Cape Cod to fulfill our 15 day military annual training obligation. We will be staffing the medical clinic on post, and I don’t know exactly what that will entail: probably handing out Tylenol and calamine lotion. I’ll drive back to Boston twice a week to continue my school classes.

Only a little over a month until we'll be back in Minnesota for Sean and Bonny's wedding!