Friday, June 4, 2010

Welcome Home

Home. It is one of the sweetest words there is. And when I get to use “welcome” in front of “home,” it becomes truly delicious.

That’s just what we get to do tomorrow as we welcome home our airman! Yay, my hubby is coming home! He's been on a humanitarian mission in the Dominican Republic. He was part of a 34 person team of Air Force medical professionals and assistants. They saw between 500 and 1,000 patients a day at local schools, every day for two weeks and did marvelous work.

Here are a few snippets from various e-mails he sent me:

We participated in the MEDRETE exercise providing humanitarian assistance to the citizens of the Dominican Republic as well as some Haitian patients.

We saw 7,500 patients in 10 days. We will see another 200 patients tomorrow.

We provided de-worming meds to over 3,500 patients. We saw over 500 dental patients and extracted almost 1000 teeth. We examined and provided glasses to over 900 patients. We dispensed needed medications to almost 6,000 patients. We also cleaned wounds and referred several patients in critical condition to local hospitals.

On our first day, we had several issues. We only saw a little over 500 patients instead of 1000. The bus broke down so we got a late start. Then, we ran out of water and pain meds in the afternoon. Hopefully we will have everything corrected for tomorrow so we can see all the patients. Some walked over 25 miles to get to see a doctor so it stinks not to be able to see them all.

The first school was on the military base and we treated military families who make the same sacrifices that we do. Many of them have served with us in Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times.

I did not eat lunch today because I would have felt guilty not seeing more patients and even guiltier eating in front of kids who have not had a bite to eat in a couple of days so I gave my MRE to a family of six to share.

Glasses are a huge hit. The longest lines each day are to get glasses. The kids cry if they can't get a pair because we run out each afternoon. They know that they can do better in school and have the chance for a better job if they can see the board.

It went well today. We were at the second location. The new location was further away and I didn't think the bus would make it through some of the roads. We served a poorer population today. We even treated a case of elephantitis -- the grandma's foot looked just like an elephant’s foot.

Last night, the crowd out front of the school got really upset when we had to close early because we ran out of meds. We had extra vitamins so I took the kid vitamins and the pharmacist took the adult vitamins and we started handing them out and just about got mobbed.

We have to quit accepting dental patients well before we close because they can spend almost an hour on a single patient especially if they have to remove their wisdom teeth and use the chisel hammer. One family said that they walked over 50 miles for their daughter to see the dentist because the $60 for a single tooth extraction is all that they make in a month. I went over the dental quota and slipped them in. The girl had 4 teeth extracted and was still happy and smiling with blood soaked gauze in her mouth.

I saw my first case of leprosy yesterday. I brought in bandages, sterilized water, and peroxide and cleaned the massive lesions on his legs.

I ate dinner with one of the optometrists last night. He’s a Catholic too and I wanted to pass on an event that happened yesterday. He was treating a 3 year old patient. Her mother was worried about her vision. While he was explaining to the mother that she was totally blind and would never see, the little girl was hugging him and crawling in his lap. She felt that he was wearing a saint medal and excitedly told her mother. The Captain immediately removed the medal from his neck and gave it to her. She was so happy that she was jumping up and down and running around the classroom shouting how great the American soldiers were and how much she had been blessed by God.

It is things like these that affirm our willingness to share our daddy with the world. We couldn’t be more proud of him and the work he does. We’re even more excited to welcome him home.

While this file is offered freely here, it is still governed by my Terms of Use. Thank you for abiding by them. The password is iagreetotou (no capitals, no spaces and no punctuation).

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Happy Creative Time!

23 comments:

Penny Duncan Creations said...

Oh what a pretty file and perfect for so many occasions!!!!! Thank you for sharing it m'am!!!

Lynn Barwald said...

THANKS Ileana! Thanks for sharing hubby's comments while in the Dominican Republic. Very, very touching.. glad he's coming home!

Lynn Barwald said...

THANKS Ileana! Thanks for sharing hubby's comments while in the Dominican Republic. Very, very touching.. glad he's coming home!

Kelly S said...

Thank you for the wonderful file. And thanks for sharing your husband's story with us. What a marvelous thing he was doing!

Shelly said...

Oh gosh Ileana! Your huband's letter gave me goosebumps and made me cry! I know we take stuff for granted here. My children are very unappreciative at times. We are all truly blessed! Thanks for the reminder! Have fun with hubby! You military woman are soo strong...a true inspiration! Oh and great file too!

Trina said...

Thank you for sharing your husband's words. And..Thank you both for his service. Have a wonderful "Welcome Home".

Nancy said...

How fortunate we are! I don't think people in the USA realize how blessed we are until they have a chance to witness how others live.
American kids cry when they need glasses.
Thanks for another great file. It is raining in WI and I am in my craft room. :O)

Anna said...

Thank you for the awesome file and for the wonderful words from your hubby

Krista said...

Thank you for sharing your husband's experiences. Thanks for the file, too!

Caroline said...

Thankyou for sharing your Hubby's stories! So happy for you and your family that he is coming home, what a wonderful way to start your Summer holidays!
Thankyou for the lovely freebie!

Barracudasue said...

This is a true BLESSING, Ileana! I'm incredible happy for you and your family about his home coming! I can see why you are SO proud of him. God bless him and you for sharing this journey with us!

Sandy said...

Thank you for the nice file and please let your dh know how proud we are of him and the staff working with him. And thank you for sharing your hubby with those who need his help.

Barracudasue said...

I forgot to thank you for the really super file!!!!!! THANKS, I love it!

Pam said...

Thanks so much for sharing your DH's experiences on their mission, oh my what a moving experience it must have been for him. Thank you for the file.

Trisha said...

Thanks for sharing your hubby's story. We sure are spoiled (and blessed) here! Thank you for sharing this pretty file, too.

Carol said...

Thanks for the beautiful file and I agree with the others comments that we do forget how blessed we are. Thanks for sharing.

Rebecca said...

Ileana, Thanks for the great file! And thanks for sharing about the amazing work your hubby is doing! Welcome home to him & y'all have a great weekend!

Elizabeth said...

Please don't hate me, I forgot to leave a comment yesterday for the wonderful file.
The comments gfrom your hubby are awesome!!I thank him from the bottom of my heart for all he and his unit does for us here in the states.

Lisa Avolio said...

I am in tears reading this. I just got back from a one week relief trip, helping a Christian ministry there with construction of a home for a pastor and family, orphanage work, etc. The needs are incredible. TV clips don't convey the widespread poverty and neediness. I am so thankful that there are hundreds of efforts, big and small, reaching out to serve this island.
Thanks for welcoming me home with your file and your hubby's letter.

Margie said...

Thank you for sharing your file with us, and your husband with the world! Tell him thank you for all of us, because without people, like him giving of their time and talent, where would our world be? It is people like your husband who make our world a better place! And thank you for sharing him!

Brett said...

Thanks to your husband for his service, and to your family for the sacrifices you endure while he's serving.

Penny Duncan Creations said...

Oh My Goodness Ileana....I just had the change to come back and read this post.......I have TEARS.....this is so touching and just grips your heart!!! What an AMAZING mission your husband and the other soldiers lovingly did!!! THIS is why I'm SO proud to be an American and SO VERY VERY VERY proud of your hubby!!!! Thank you for your sacrifice!!!!

eddita said...

Amazing Ileana....what a great story. Shelly is right, we do take so much for granted, it's in these stories that we are reminded of how blessed we truly are.