In July, I was asked by my Team Commander if I wanted to attend a specialty training for the electronic medical record (EMR) system that Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) use. I attended a similar training in 2014, three months after my spinal fusion. Of course, I jumped at the prospect. This past year, I haven’t been as active as I wanted to be with my team, but I am proud of the service that I provide to my country as a member of my team, helping those in our country who are affected by disasters of all types… hurricanes, earthquakes, whatever and whenever we are called to service. I never could be in the military. I tried, and I was turned down when I was 17, since I only have 1 kidney. As I tell people, I don’t carry a gun to serve… I carry a stethoscope.
So, here I am in Frederick, MD, attending the advanced EMR training that I will take back to my team and train others. I also want to help fellow teammates to become and stay familiar with the system we will use the next time we are called. Most of us have used it already, but like any skill, requires practice.
I don’t mention this because of the training so much as the fact that I haven’t felt this at home with a group of people in a long time. It has reminded me of something I’ve lost in the past few years. I know my team is aware of my cancer diagnosis. And some know of my struggle since that fateful day last year when I lost a lobe of my lung. And they have been wonderfully patient. Frankly, I was surprised when I was asked to attend. But I was honored at the same time. I felt useful again to them. Even after I’ve been distant. And I am grateful.
I’ve missed spending time with my team. And I want to get back to it again. I NEED my team. I’ve been a part of them since shortly after 9/11. They are my second family, and I love them. I haven’t felt this level of calm in my psyche in a while. I want more of it. And I hope that by taking this training and teaching my team that I can give back some of what I have gained from them.
Yeah, CA-11. I’m coming back into the fold. See you at the next meeting. 🙂