Sadly, my deployment to United Arab Emirates has been cut short.
Barely a few months in—just enough time to get comfortable doing my job in the desert—I ruptured my Achilles tendon during a freak accident at the gym. I wish I could say that it occurred while I was rescuing women and children amid hostile fire, but in truth it’s the sort of injury that’s just as likely to occur during a pick-up basketball game as in a combat zone.
Because the medical facilities here in the desert are not set up to treat this sort of injury or to aid long-term recoveries, the military is sending me back. Because I belong to an Air National Guard wing rather than an active-duty base, the Air Force is sending me home to Northern California where I will be treated by civilian doctors rather than military doctors.
It sucks—but it’s not the end of the world. The military will pay for my surgery and rehab, and for that I’m grateful.
I’m also grateful for the opportunity to have worked with a top-notch PA team for my tenure at Al Dhafra Air Base. Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson, Staff Sgt. Colton Elliott, and Maj. Jodi Grayson. You will be missed. In the photo is Brig. Gen. Derek C. France, Commander, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, as he bids me farewell.
My recovery should take three to six months. As it’s not a career-ending injury and I’m anticipated to make a full recovery, I could even deploy again someday.
Down but not out.
I’ll be back.