Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rough Week

I had been asleep for about an hour last Thursday when one of my guys woke me up and said he heard a rumor that one of our vehicles was in an accident. While I assumed it was minor, I got in uniform and went into work to see what was going on. The office was eerily empty. The only person in the office, our dispatcher, sat in silence. He didn't have to say anything, I knew it wasn't good. I told him if any calls came for this base, Camp Buehring, I would handle them until everyone got back from the accident, so they could concentrate on what was going on there. I then called my supervisor to let him know I was holding things down here. He then gave me the news I was denying. While traveling to Camp Virginia for a routine patrol, a car passing a convoy on the wrong side of the road, came through a blind hill and struck their vehicle head on. MA2 Brian Patton had been killed and MA2 Dave Morgan was in the fight of his life. I rounded up what troops were left here to give them the news. Unfortunately, work still had to be done, I ended up working from 9am that morning until 8am the next. It's been a long week.

U.S. Navy Reserve Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian M. Patton called his wife from Kuwait on Wednesday night and told her he missed her. It was their wedding anniversary, and they talked about a trip to Hawaii they planned to take when his deployment was complete.

Within an hour, Petty Officer Patton was dead.

The 37-year-old Nanticoke man was killed just after midnight Thursday in a head-on crash with a civilian vehicle near a military base in Kuwait, his family said Friday.

Petty Officer Patton was traveling in an SUV when a civilian contractor in a pickup truck crashed into his vehicle while trying to pass a military convoy, according to his wife, Amy Hynoski Patton.

She said her husband called about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, their ninth wedding anniversary, and the two spoke about buying plane tickets for an upcoming trip to Hawaii with their son.

"When he was hanging up, he said, 'I miss you.' I said, 'Good, I'm glad," she said.

Yesterday a memorial service was held for Brian. It was a great one. Standing room only. Brian was one of those people who always let it be known he was in the room. Loud and boisterous, tell it how it is. Never held back punches, was quick witted, and always made you laugh. Things wont be the same without him here. Quick story, I didn't spend much time with Brian and Dave in Ft. Lewis, but when we came back to Ft. Lewis from our week home before going to Kuwait, I was sitting in the airport by myself, when Brian, Dave and two other shipmates came up to me and invited me to go tour downtown Seattle with them. I was really excited that they asked me. I saw them, and knew they were going. I didn't want to impose, so I played as if I didn't know they were there. I even forced them to rent a larger car. Since I came they needed more space. Not once did they think twice about me joining them, and we ended up having a great time.

As for Dave, the news hasn't been the best either. It took two hours to get Dave out of the vehicle and to a hospital for medical attention. Among a plethora of injuries, Dave had a punctured and a collapsed lung. How he made it this far only God knows. He was flown to Germany later that night, and then to Bethesda on Sunday. There they found Dave suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, with Mid-Brain damage. His right pupil is dilated and unresponsive. Today they will be putting in a trachea tube and a peg tube. Here is what the doctor told his parents yesterday:

Davids condition with his head injury the recovery doesn't usually happen. He very well could be in a vegetative state but miracles have happened and there is no reason to give up hope. Dave has made some strides toward the positive side. they stopped his meds that keep him in a coma to see what would happen and he started moving his right side. then they put it back on. he has been coughing and his eyelids flicker. he moves his left foot in pain when they pull out his dressing.

I think miracles have gotten Dave this far along, so I have no reason to not believe they wont continue to happen. Please keep Dave, his family, and Brian's family in your thoughts and prayers. Dave is by far, one of the hardest working and generous human beings I have never met. No matter how big or small, Dave put everyone and everything before himself. I don't think he took a day off since we've been here, and not once has he ever complained. Actually, he does it all with the biggest smile you could imagine. Again, please keep him in your prayers.

Dave and his Daughter

Luzerne County News:

Brain, Dave and I

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Same old

My apologies for not updating this as of late. Really hasn't been much excitement going on to report. Still trying to get back into a groove after my time spent on R&R I guess. The base has been fairly quiet and we haven't been getting many calls (knock on wood). I started taking a few online college classes this week. I'm taking them with the American Military University. My major is in Homeland Security. It seemed like a great idea when I signed up for them, but now that they have started, I'm realizing I forgot how much work is involved. I assumed online classes were easier and required less time, but so far I have been getting a healthy amount of assignments. I'm taking two classes, one is just an introduction to online learning, which I thought was going to be the least work, but is the most, and the other is entitled "Weapons of Mass Destruction Incident Command". Overall, they seem to be interesting classes. The college accepted most of the credits I earned prior to joining the Navy, so I have about two years left to get my degree if I stick to it after I get off deployment.

In other news, my roommate moved out. No, not because I smell funny, because he was able to score his own personal trailer. My roommate is the criminal investigator here, which is an E-7 position and E-7's get their own trailer. Although he is an E-6, since he holds an E-7 position, he gets the room. So I was pretty pumped because this meant I would have my own room, right? Wrong. I had my own room for about 3 days before someone realized I was living by myself. There was another room that had three guys in it, so they moved one of those guys in with me. He is my assistant watch commander, so I know the guy pretty well, and so far he has been a pretty good roommate, so not that bad. My own room would have been sweet though.