Romanian Army Lt. Col. Dorin Petrut

Sept 29, 2007

I had hoped to go out Friday night with my host, but I was so tired I went home and went to bed about 8:30. What happened to the days of working and going out and getting up a 7 to go back to work?

I went to work at 9 today and started right away with getting things stocked and boxes packed for downrange that had come in Friday’s mail that are not needed here. The sad thing is after I leave here, there is no one here to complete this task for the WWMC. It is almost a full-time job.

I had 6 or 7 patients come in from today’s flight. We got a lot of clothing in on Friday that I could not get out but all of the pants were 34-inch waist so I am looking for that perfect patient.

I watched a liaison and patient walk down the sidewalk towards the WWMC and as many say, “It is a good thing your head is attached” I have heard that everyone has a twin but this kid looked like my brother’s oldest son. As he got closer the more he looked like him. When he got inside the WWMC I told him that he looked like my nephew. He told me that he had an aunt named Karen. We started off just talking but as I worked through his clothing items he would say that he did not need any of this or that. I told him that it was cold here and that if I caught him outside with a jacket or sweatshirt that I would have to call his mom and he was now family and my responsibility here. I could not help but give this kid a hug three or four times. The liaison with him kept saying that it was scary how many things we had in common. The liaison said that we looked like we could have been family. He was from the Midwest, but this kid was for sure my family.

The liaison with the boots for the Romanian came in while I was waiting on the rest of the patients and he had to wait for me to finish but we got to our Romanian patient about 20 minutes late. Our Colonel was so excited to see us that he hung up on his dad.

He had a slide show of his tour in Iraq. He showed us pictures of his surgery and wounds. He told me that it was graphic and if I could not handle it to let him know. It was not the pictures of his leg 1/3 blown off that was upsetting to me. It was the fact that this man thought of his American troops as his brothers. He called them his second family, those that served with him in Iraq, and wore the American uniform. It reminded me of those that I was so close to in Bosnia. It took me back many years ago to friendships that I had and those that I had lost contact with. Those that I had shared some of the most stressful times in my life. It brought tears to my eyes to look at his second family and remember mine.

We gave him his boots and the 10th Mountain Liaison gave him a robe with the 10th Mountain emblem on it. He wanted our pictures and so we posed, me on one side and the 10th Mountain Liaison on the other. Next thing I knew we were in a headlock and the picture was taken. Then he said it was time for a nice picture, so we took one all smiles.

I worked 3 1/2 hours today in thanks to Ann Pearce and her contribution to my trip.

Here is the story about the Romanian Army Lt. Col. Dorin Petrut

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