As the Afghanistan War progresses to its pre-scheduled end date, service members are returning home from deployments, some having deployed to war more than once or twice through the past thirteen years.
After nine months spent at Gelan DSP, deeply embedded within that country’s mountainous-landlocked terrain, the 2nd Forward Surgical Team completed their mission and came home.
The 15-member hand-picked band of elites teamed with 12 MEDCOM PROFIS soldiers to support Special Forces troops in a combined joint special operations task force. Designing and implementing a tactical “Golden Hour Offset Surgical-Transport Team” made up of two surgeons, two nurse anesthetists and a combat medic propelled the insurance of survival when treating in dangerous remote areas and advanced the team's achievements.
Arriving in Afghanistan midst the noted fighting season, the team successfully pegged their goal through experience and commitment while engaging in the treatments of over 100 traumas as a most resilient team. Each working in unison to secure their patients’ lives. 2nd FST finished their job with a 98-percent survival rate.
During an emotional welcome home ceremony family members anxiously watched as their loved ones marched into the room and was commended by Col. James Andrews, commander, 10th CSH for a job well done. Soon thereafter soldiers and family members ran for touching, feeling and smiling. For spouses and significant others, reuniting after a deployment brings about an almost overwhelming sense of love, but most of all relief that your soldier made it home safely.
For most, acclimating comes natural and getting back home means becoming a family unit again. Relationships pick up and families grow stronger. As difficult as it may be to realize you can’t understand the experience of a soldier in a war zone, spouses know that they’ve changed too. Being caught between a disbelief you’ve handled the situation of deployment and accepting your soldier has a job to do and probable to be called to do it again proves spouses and family members stronger.
The Fort Carson forward surgical team is one of the last to see action in Afghanistan as the war comes to an end. Since the war began in 2001 most soldiers who’ve deployed there would admit that the country has seen positive changes because of their efforts and civilians appreciate the courage of soldiers willing to command our country’s safety. As the world continues to be a dangerous place to live it's vital to maintain a highly skilled and professional military.
For the 2nd FST, success was a team effort. Together earning five Bronze Star medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, 18 Army Commendation Medals, seven Army Achievement Medals and five Combat Action Badges, the essence of skilled and professional. And, for your strength, dedication and commitment, your country is so very proud.