For those who don't know me, my name is Bill Giles, and I'm about to deploy to Afghanistan. I'm a nurse anesthetist assigned to the 909th FST (Forward Surgical Team) currently located at FOB (Forward Operating Base) Shank. I am a Colonel in the US Army Reserves.
I've never blogged before, but I know that many folks want to know what it's like to live "downrange" in "the theater" (theater of war). I'll try to post something every few days, as time permits. I'll post pictures and tell stories as the Department of Defense permits!
My last day of work was yesterday, and the good folks at Carolinas Medical Center - University, my civilian employer, were kind enough to give me a send off complete with a delicious cake! I'm very fortunate to have a patriotic employer - they supplement my income so that there is no net loss during my deployment. They also allow us to continue our health insurance and other benefits as we desire. Employers are not required to do this, and most do not. it is greatly appreciated!
I am currently tying up loose ends at home. I will arrive at Fort Benning, Ga, on Friday, to spend a week at the CRC (CONUS Replacement Center). I'll live in barracks and have medical exams, dental checkup, shots, equipment issue, weapons qualification, and lots of briefings. I've been through it twice before, and it's not fun! I think the Army just wants you to have a miserable experience so that you can't wait to go to war!
If all goes as planned, I'll leave the following Friday and arrive at the FOB several days later.
Well, that's all for now - hopefully this will be much more interesting as time goes by. Thanks for reading, and be sure to give me feedback on subjects you would like to know more about. Please understand if I must be vague due to security restrictions.