Christmas Morning and Mortar Fire

William Fullmer DVM By William Fullmer DVM, 28th Dec 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>True Stories

Christmas morning 2011 dawned with sounds of air raid alarms and the cries of “take cover” at Bagram Airfield.

Just a Typical Christmas in Afghanistan

Most of us woke up Christmas morning to the sounds of excited children, the familiar sounds of Christmas carols, and a traditional Christmas breakfast. Christmas morning this year was not so pleasant for many of our service men and women in the Middle East. Baram Airfield in Baram Afghanistan was no exception.

Christmas morning 2011 dawned with sounds of air raid alarms and the cries of “take cover” coming from the complex. Insurgents took the opportunity to shell the airfield for about an hour. Our brave men and women serving our country, and the people of Afghanistan, took cover until the danger was over before enjoying some peace. My sister, who continues her service as a member of the American Red Cross, was among those listening to the incoming fire while taking cover until the shelling stopped.

When I asked her how the rest of her Christmas went she replied that due to the very generous donations by caring Americans, as members of the Red Cross, they had “really nice items like phone cards, socks, and energy drinks” to give to the soldiers on Christmas. They also put on their Santa hats and made a Santa beard out of a tissue box and cotton balls for one of the Red Cross volunteers who “…was a natural Santa and had everyone in stitches.” She went on the say “…it was so touching to see the smiles on the soldiers faces and although it is so hard being here it was just so wonderful to be right at that place at that time.”

One of the highlights of her day was the visit to the hospital. Soldiers are initially taken to the hospital for treatment to Bagram Airfield, and then those that need it are medevac’d to Germany. They were able to play surrogate Santa’s for the injured soldiers and the staff. She said “Again a feeling of so much gratitude overwhelmed me…. We visited the patients in the TBI unit (traumatic brain injury unit) as well as those awaiting Medevac to Germany. Later that night the sweat suits came in the mail that I was able to order for the Medevac unit so I ran some over as they said earlier that they had incoming wounded (She explained that when the wounded arrive often times their clothes have been cut off so they literally have nothing to wear, thus the need for the sweat suits) I was walking back to the car after delivering them...the wounded arrived...and again as I watched them being wheeled into the hospital I felt just so lucky to be right there providing some small sort of comfort to them.”

Talking with her makes me grateful for all of those serving us, wherever they are around the world. I cannot thank enough those that give up so much and risk their lives, so that I can wake up on Christmas morning and listen for the pitter patter of tiny reindeer hooves on my roof and not the sound of mortar fire.


Afghanistan, American Red Cross, Christian Values, Christmas, Christmas Story, Insurgents, Mortar, Red Cross, Terrorist, Terrorist Attacks, Terrorist Group, Terrorists

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author avatar William Fullmer DVM
Dr. Fullmer graduated from Washington State University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. He also graduated from the University of Idaho with a bachelor's degree in Veterinary Sciences and f

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author avatar Mikey.
28th Dec 2011 (#)

War the world is restless, Suppose it is only a matter of a short time till we all be at war again. Good luck to the Forces,
And those who look after them.

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author avatar Songbird B
16th Jan 2012 (#)

What a thought provoking article, William...You write so well..and a prayer goes to the safekeeping of these brave souls and the difficult job they do..

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author avatar William Fullmer DVM
16th Jan 2012 (#)

thank you.

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