Wain Allen, a doctor with the Army Reserve's Salt Lake-based 328th General Hospital that was called to active duty Dec. 6, sent a copy of his post-activation diary before the group left for Germany last week. Here are a few excerpts written while he and the other hospital members were at their mobilization station at Fort Carson, Colo.
Tuesday, Dec. 11 - Tomorrow we complete gas mask/chemical warfare training and hopefully we are flying out of here on Friday. I hope so - I would like to get back to caring for patients instead of lying around my room all afternoon reading Nero Wolfe mysteries. I've gone through two today.Wednesday, Dec. 12 - Sitting in my barracks tonight. Sort of a lonesome day. We got up early again today. Spent all morning going through chemical training. About 5 hours of instruction and demonstration with gas masks and chemical protective gear. Had to be able to pull your mask out its carrier, put in on, clear and seal it in nine seconds before we could proceed. Also instructions on how to test and detect residual chemical agents. How to drink and use a latrine in chemical gear. We did well. In fact the whole unit completed training today, so there is good possibility we may leave for Germany tomorrow.
One of the doctors today found out he has been separated from our unit and sent to Saudi to fill out another unit there that is short on doctors. A bit disheartening. We have trained and drilled together and have a good sense of unity and camaraderie. I am afraid when we get to Germany we will split up further and be sent to scattered places across Germany and Italy.
One member of our unit left on emergency leave today. Not clear what the the complete situation is, but one parent dead and another critically injured. Sounds like a car accident. They also took up collections today for some families back home in difficult situations. The money was to be used for subbing for Santa. I guess I am glad to have my problems and not someone else's.