Help For Medical Team of Hometown Heroes
Carole Meekins reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
Lt. Col. David Gourlay is a Pediatric Surgeon and Assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He describes being in Iraq when a rocket attacked his sleeping tent. Luckily no one was inside. He recalls, "We heard the whizz go by and the explosion and so everyone evacuated into the bunkers and then it hit the tent it quickly burned to the ground."
Everything the soldiers from the 911th Forward Surgical Team brought from home burned to the ground. That included televisions, personal items, and the soldiers computers. Gourlay notes, "Most of the soldiers communicate by skype, e mail, Facebook with the families and it really makes a big difference."
Col. Lewis Somberg is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Though he was not in Iraq at the time of the blast, he had previously been in charge of the unit.
Somberg says, "The 911th forward surgical team was my unit I commanded them for five years. I took them to Afghanistan and brought them home safe. Once they're your soldiers they're always your soldiers."
And having served in war, Somberg also knows that computers play a vital role when soldiers are away from home. He notes, "You can sit there and talk to your kids and talk to you family. It's like they are right there. My wife complained that actually we talked more when I was gone than we do when I'm home. Somberg laughs.
So Dr. Somberg led the charge to replace the burned out computers. Thanks to the Medical College of Wisconsin, his unit got 9 refurbished machines. "I was more worried about the enlisted personnel because they cant afford to eat another 5 to 800 dollars to get another computer as opposed to an officer. They are paid a little more than the enlisted."
But now, thanks to the Medical college and generous supporters, the 911th is better able to treat the wounded and save lives. Dr. Somberg is grateful for the support. Somberg gladly says, "I just want to thank the MCW community and everyone who went out of their way and listen to my whining to get it done."