Thursday, March 11, 2010

Head First

I got a call from Gunnar last week.  We've been talking about once or twice a week lately which is wonderful.  If I haven't heard from him for a few days, I know a call will be coming soon, and it usually does.  He usually gives me a brief rundown of what he and his platoon have been up to (the new COP is mostly built now, and he's been doing lots of night patrols and still training the Afghan Nat'l Police), then I tell him crazy stories about our crazy kids and he laughs his ass off.  Well, last week he tells me he had a bit of trouble going over a wall to get into the city. 

I always wondered why the military makes the guys practice jumping over walls but the most obvious reason is that the bad guys like to set explosives at the main entrances to the towns.  Hence, jumping over walls is seemingly much safer.  Well Gunnar and his squad were jumping over a wall about 6 feet high, but dropped off more like 10-12 feet on the other side.  He clearly remembers jumping up one side of the wall, but not so clear on what heppened next.  He was told that his head hit a tree branch on the other side, which knocked him off balance and then landed on his head.  Ouch!!  Then next thing he remembers is the medic standing over him, as he regained consciousness.  He was put through a series of brain injury tests and failed them all miserably so the mission was aborted and they headed back to the COP.  He had a wicked headache for a few days and when they retested him for a brain injury he scored just 1 point higher than what would require him to be med-evac'd (medical evacuation) out of Afghanistan for treatment and recovery.  One point.  One point!!  While I'm so thankful and happy that he isn't injured, boy, I would have loved to hear he was transported to a safer place. 

The headache is now gone, and he is back to business as usual.  As if there is anything normal about what they're doing over there. 

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