Nursing in a Disaster Situation: Military Terrorist Attack in Iraq

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Nursing in a Disaster Situation: Military Terrorist Attack in Iraq I will never forget the morning of June 8, 2004 in Baqubah, Iraq. The morning started with a bang, literally, as a vehicle born improvised explosive device charged the front gates of Forward Operating Base Warhorse. It was 0800, and all the troops on the base camp were preparing for change of shift in their various departments, including the aid station. The front gates were filled with local nationals who had contracted to work on the base camp as well as American soldiers and civilians. It was one of our most vulnerable times on the base, and the worst timing for a disaster to strike. As the sound of the explosion pierced my ears and shook the walls of my living "shack," I knew this was not the ever familiar mortar rounds coming in. I walked outside, against standard operating procedures when under attack, and saw a huge mushroom cloud at the front gate. It was at this moment that my radio blared for all medics to report to the battalion aid station to prepare for a mass casualty situation. I knocked on the doors of my soldier's and alerted them to get to the aid station ASAP. Luckily, our sleeping areas were within a two minute walk to our make-shift emergency room. Soon after arriving, organized chaos ensued. We had been in this situation before, alerted for a mass casualty; however, never had a mass casualty situation happened that affected a large portion of our own troops. All medical personnel
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