April 13, 2010
 

Tom's Been Wounded & Requests Our Help

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Our good friend, Tom Deierlein, COO, Dynamic Logic, Inc., just wrote to let us know that he was wounded recently while serving our country in Baghdad. As you know, Tom was called to active duty earlier this year as Captain (CPT,) U.S. Army, and had been stationed in Iraq. Let's keep Tom and Hiwot, his wife in our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery!

Tom is requesting we make corporate and personal charitable donations to those he believes are in greatest need; the innocent children in Iraq. The MadAve Journal will match financial contributions up to $2,500 to reach a total sum of $5,000 or more for the purchase of supplies that Tom is asking us to donate. For more information, contact editor@madisonavenuejournal.com.

The Editors

Here's Tom letter:

Bye Bye Baghdad - Hello Bed Rest:
This is finally going out to all that have been on my monthly email list. I am no longer in Baghdad. I was shot by a sniper on September 9th. The round shattered my pelvis and sacrum. After surgery, I was sent to Landstuhl Germany for a few days and then arrived here in Washington DC on September 16th. My lovely wife Hiwot, has been here every day since. My own little angel of mercy.

Injury and Treatment Update:
Contrary to previous reports, that had me heading to Tampa two weeks ago, I have decided to stay here at Walter Reed Army Hospital through the middle to end of December. I need to recuperate and recover before I head down to the Rehabilitation Center in Tampa. Basically, the doctors have me lying in bed moving as little as possible in order to let the broken bones knit and fuse. I have watched seasons 1 and 2 of LOST on my computer. I do not want to talk about the Yankees, but I do hope A-Rod stays.

I do PT (Physical Therapy) twice a day and I am now lifting 5lbs with each leg. My left leg is more damaged than my right, but general consensus is that I should walk again. I get more and more movement and strength in my legs each day.

At the end of my 12 weeks of recovery, if the bones heal properly, I can then begin rehabilitation, getting up, putting weight on my hips and pelvis, and begin the long process of trying to walk (and run??) again. If all goes well, in early January I will spend some time down in Tampa at the Army's premier center for spinal cord injuries. The road to recovery is expected to take 6-12 months depending on the degree of nerve damage and my early rehab progress. My guess is that I will be back at work in NYC by late spring 2007.

If the shattered bones don't heal properly, it is time for surgery and some rods and pins. Needless to say, I am hoping for the former. My latest X-Rays taken yesterday look good and I get another set in two weeks.

How To Reach Me: tom@dynamiclogic.com.

Mailing address:
Tom Deierlein
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Main Hospital - Ward 58, room 5835
6900 Georgia Ave
Washington, D.C. 20307

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Here's a blog for friends and supporters who would like to send Tom and Hiwot a personal message: http://www.dynamiclogic.com/tom/

Continued Aid:
My efforts to comfort and help the local poor children and needy Iraqi families continues. The biggest victims and worst suffering in any war is the innocent children. Unfortunately, this war is no different. The toys, clothes, school supplies, and vitamins have a great impact. For those of you who wish to continue to send your charitable goods my buddy Drew Corbin, an Airborne Ranger, family man, and Firefighter from Austin TX has agreed to continue those efforts. He was with me and helped plan and execute all the distribution while I was there and he will ensure your contributions end up in the hands of the most needy in East Baghdad.

CPT Drew Corbin
A Co. 414th CA - FOB Loyalty
APO AE 09390

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So There I Was, Minding My Own Business:
For those who have not heard "The Story" yet, here it is. Unfortunately, as more foreign fighters enter the city, more(very) well trained snipers are out and about with devastating effect.

For the past two weeks we had been conducting a operation called "Together Forward". The basic goal was to seal off and rapidly clean up some of the worst hotspots in Baghdad. The 172nd Stryker Brigade would cordon off (seal off) an entire district of Baghdad for 2 weeks or so and search house by house and building by building to clean out weapons and bad guys. Then, we Civil Affairs guys, would follow up and work with local government on some rapid /quick impact projects, medium term development projects and of course long term projects like economic development. The main thing was to re-establish security and then turn it over to Iraqi forces to continue enforcement of rule of law.

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We were focused on a number of projects working in conjunction with the local government for things like school supplies, medicine for the local hospital and clinics, improving the electrical network for power, clearing out the blocked sewage system, and providing humanitarian assistance for homeless families. We had also hired about a dozen contractors to clean up the trash and debris in the streets while we tried to get the local civil servants to fix and restart their trash service. This was a main effort in the new Battle for Baghdad . All the key generals came by to see our efforts including GEN Casey. This was THE key to making Baghdad safe again and allowing the Iraqi's to step up and take responsibility for security and development.

It was about 1030 or 1100 hours on a Saturday morning and some bad guys had shot at some of our trash contractors as they cleaned up the street. We had had a number of incidents over the past week including 7 workers being shot, including a young boy. We got a report of shooting and decided to go up to the area to protect the workers and see if we could get any information about the insurgents. When we arrived, there were no smiles from the people on the street, no welcomes, no children around(red flag) and no one was willing to talk to us about the shooters. It was not a friendly neighborhood. There was no sign of the contractor or his workers. We decided to leave after being on the ground for about 5 minutes. I walked over by my HMMWV and turned to overwatch as our soldiers remounted. Something I had done a hundred times before.

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BAM!! - I heard a loud explosion and was thrown backward onto the ground. My first thought was that I stepped on a land mine or tripped an IED. In fact, as I flew backward and looked down at my boots and legs, they weren't coming with me as I fell. In my mind I had been cut in half - - lost my legs. As I hit the ground all I could think was "I guess this is it, I will bleed out within the next 60 seconds or so." I cried out "OH MY GOD, I'M HIT I'M HIT. OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!!!" Then I just laid there looking up at the sky and waiting to die. I wasn't feeling any pain. I heard Drew call out " Rogers, get over here, ROGERS !!". (Rogers is our medic and the true hero of this story). Drew then called out "Pop smoke, everyone pop smoke." Typical Drew, cool under heat, he began to execute our battle drill for sniper fire by the numbers. The smoke was to obscure the area so the sniper could not see anyone to shoot and to make it possible for people to come and move me to cover and safety. He then spoke to me for the first time "Tom, can you walk at all?" I was so happy to hear that question – it meant I was wrong and still attached to my legs. "Hell, no!" I called back. Drew told me not to worry they were coming to get me. I told him to wait a minute and then took the opportunity to throw my smoke and obscure the immediate area around me.

The guys quickly moved me into the back of my HMMWV and Rogers began to conduct his assessment and first aid. He evaluated my injury and began to apply pressure to the entrance wound (there was no exit wound). He talked to me and kept me calm. He began to remove and cut away any/all equipment that he could. I was brought to a FOB(Forward Operating Base) about 2 miles away that had a medical station and a landing zone for the MEDEVAC helicopter.

As I lay on the operating table inside a little M*A*S*H looking building awaiting the helicopter, the medics tried to control the bleeding and establish the degree of severity of the wound. I turned to some of my troops in the room and told them call my wife and let her know that I had been hit. I read them her telephone number. But, rather than call her as I instructed, they simply pulled out an IRAQNA cell phone and dialed right there. They handed me the phone. Hiwot answered groggily – it was around 4 or 5 am her time at this point. I asked if she had gotten a phone call. "No" she replied. "Why?". "I've been shot, they shot me!!" I replied.
"Are you OK?".
"Yes, I'll be fine."
"Are you in pain, did they give you pain killers?"
"They don't give painkillers to RANGERS." (I still had my sense of humor, but was very high on morphine at this point.)
"Do I need to do anything?"
"You have to call my parents. Talk to my Dad not my Mom and you need to downplay it."
"Okay, I'll tell them it was a BB Gun."
"No, tell them it was a sling shot!!"

That is all I remember from the phone call. I was told to "breath this". I woke up a day and half later in Beladi (one hour north of Baghdad) – I had been operated on and had numerous blood transfusions. I awoke to tubes and IV's all over the place. A day after that I was in Germany and four days later here in the United States of America.

Call and Visits:
I am now up for calls and visits. Drop me a line and come on down. Thanks for all the prayers, goodies, and well wishes on my recovery. I will be out and about before you know it!!

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