April 28, 2003
Lieutenant Commander (and 6 series owner) Tony Capano writes from US Navy Fleet Hospital Three, Located Somewhere East of Europe:
"Mike the banner got here. Everyone loves it - we're going to hang it outside and take a picture under it. That may not be for a day or two since we're in the middle of a sandstorm and you can't see 3 meters in front of you. When the weather clears we'll hang it, take the picture and send it to you. I'll try to send it electronically. Thanks it was great. Tony"
Then we heard from Tony again with the photo.
This is my 15th year on active duty but my first deployment - most of us medical types move from CONUS Naval Hospital to CONUS Naval Hospital maybe do a staff type job in Washington then back to a hospital or occassional an oversea Naval hospital or the occassional "operational tour (Marines or shipboard). All my tours have been East Coast except for 2 years in Monterey, CA to get my Master's degree.
We moved toward the end of March, set up a hospital on barren ground that days before was nothing but sand and scorpions. In 3.5 days we had a fully functinal surgical hospital with more than 100 inpatient beds. Took our first patient around 01Apr (at the beginning all the days ran together) and have been busy ever since. Things are starting to wind down as we move patients either home or to other longer care facilities. I can't give too many details but most of our patients were not Coalition forces. We had some but the vast majority were Iraqi EPW and innocent civilians who were either used as shields by the Iraqi military or in the wrong place at the wrong time - caught in the crossfire. As patients we treat everyone the same - no different care depending on status and we saved a bunch of lives, limbs, etc. I have seen some horrendous injuries here - the machines we make for war are intended to cause harm and they are very effective. M-16, bombs, mortars, shrapnel, AK-47s, RPGs do nasty things to flesh and bones. We do the best we can to fix'em. It looks like we might get home by Jun or Jul that would be great we all miss our families but also know there are lost of other Americans here who have been here longer, have lived in much worse conditions and seen much worse things through direct combat that we ever will. You may have guessed it but I'm very proud of what we've done, very proud of being a Naval Officer and very Proud to be an AMERICAN!!!!!!
I have cced all my staff in the pharmacy here in case anyone wanted an email address as well as one of my best shipmates here.
Please pass along to your group our thanks it means a lot for all of us here to have such great support from home. you may share this with anyone you wish especially your Z3 group. They can all email me or any of my guys if they like. I may not answer each with a long email like this one but given the time I'll answer eveyone I get - it's nice to have some company. . Thanks
Tony, still in Iraq but hopefully not for much longer.
Updates- Tony gets HOME!
August 2003- Roundel Article "Iraq Chapter of BMW CCA"
September 2003- Tony visits FDNY Ladder 20
September 2003-Tony visits the Tribeca Cook Off
God Bless America and God Bless Our Troops! THANK YOU TONY AND ALL THE COALITION TROOPS!