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March 10, 2005

More Stories from the "Other Sandbox"

We here at the Castle are self-published. The Joy of Bloggery. Our newest correspondent (in the truest, Churchill-esque form), MSG Keith, is not self-published. He actually has to get by (shudder) *editors* - some of whom are undoubtedly (shudder) *officers*... Heh. Just like here...

But gets by he does. And gets published. Like this story from Afghanistan.

Being in the Public Affairs business, seducing him into feeding us here at the Castle is good from several perspectives. 1. He's funny and can write, the primary qualities we seek. 2. He's got something to say, also good. 3. He's deployed out at the sharp end... and so has 'eyes on'. Even if we did have to send him scruple-taken nudie pics of *all* the female Denizens, well, it was worth it to get a straw in the pool Over There - especially in the Under-Reported War, I so call it, as it doesnt' have enough bad news to be news.

But there is some good news. Like this story pointed out to us by MSG Keith...

Rich Van Wyk/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis, March 8 - Beneath a soldier's helmet and flack jacket there's a physician. During a humanitarian mission to an Afghan refugee camp, Captain James Gruber heard Qudrat Ullah's failing heart, despite his infectious smile. Gruber realized the young boy probably wouldn't survive the winter.

Captain Gruber's diagnosis and compassion of other soldiers sent Qudrat and his father on their journey of hope.

"Afghanistan, as I've said before, is just a pitiful place. These people truly have nothing. Sometimes when you are in a combat zone, a war zone, and you see this little child and he may grow up to be a normal kid, it gives you some satisfaction for the sacrifices that you made when you went over. And I think all of us felt that way."

Indiana National Guardsmen are part of Task Force Phoenix. Although their primary mission is to train a new Afghan Army and keep the peace, Army photographs show soldiers trying to relieve the misery of a war ravaged country.

Captain Gruber left with one regret. "There were plenty of sick kids and adults. There was nothing you could do. As a doctor with an infantry unit that treats war wounds, I can't treat heart problems and diabetes like you can care for them in the US. And you have to get used to telling people, 'There is nothing I can do for you at all.' It's real difficult, real difficult."

Dr. Gruber is now a physician in the emergency room of St. Joseph's Hospital in Huntingburg and follows Qudrat's progress on the Internet.

Dr. Gruber anticipates being recalled to active duty this year and sent to Afghanistan or Iraq.

See? For all the PC bullshite in the TV show, M.A.S.H did get some things right...

To be fair to the MSM, this story *has* been covered. But how many of us knew about it? Because we too, if we watch/read the MSM, tend to look for the bad stuff, and skim over the good.

Not surprisingly given where the protagonists live - Indiana leads the pack:

IndyStar.com
WTHR, Indianapolis
WFIE, Evansville.

National:
ABC News

Local to me, the KC Star.

Local to Barb SGT B, and Bad Cat Robot - The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

International: Kerala, India.

Thanks for passing this along, Keith!