Friday, May 30, 2008

Cotabato, RP

Dear Family and Friends,

Today, the USNS Mercy is finally a true hospital. For the last several weeks we have had most of the makings of a hospital; doctors, nurses, operating rooms, x-ray machines, etc. However, we have been missing one important item: Patients! After all the work, training, planning, and preparations – finally we are doing what we came to do. We are, at last, treating paitents.

We pulled into Polloc Harbor yesterday morning and dropped the anchor just about a mile from the beach. The city of Cotabato is 10 miles to the south of us as the crow flies. This is a beautiful little harbor. The southern part of Mindanao is close enough to the equator it seldom gets the typhoons which are common in the northern islands like Luzon. The vegetation along the coastline is lush and very dense. Looking through the binoculars, you can see dozens of Nipa huts lining the beach.

Yesterday was devoted primarily to logistics. We moved a whole bunch of material and supplies ashore for our medical outreach programs. Today we were visited by the United States Ambassador to the Philippines, Kristie Kenney. Ambassador Kenney is an old friend of USNS Mercy – she visited us many times during the 2006 mission. It was good to have her aboard once again. I attended the opening ceremony this afternoon. It is obvious the good folks in this region are happy to have us here!

It’s late and it has been a really long day, so I’m going to cut this posting a little short tonight. Exciting times are ahead. The great folks from Operation Smile are aboard! They will be doing a whole slew of surgeries in the next couple of days to repair cleft lips and palates on some really wonderful children. More on this later!

More to come…



liberty said...

Hi Captain Wiley: Thank you for taking the time to write this blog. I think your blog is great because it is informational but also short and the sunset picture was just Awesome.
My son (BMSA D. Liberty) is also on his first Navy deployment and your blog helps me feel more connected with him while so far away. Keep up the great work.

Bryan said...

Thanks for the info. I look forward to following the life and times of the Mercy! Say "Hi" to LCDR Deb Brendley from her husband and twins from NC who miss her so much.

Leanne said...
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John said...

Thank you for providing information on this deployment. I am retired USN and wish I was still in the Navy for missions like his. I followed the 2006 mission daily and was very proud of the services provided to so many people. I am married to a Filipina for over 31 years and she is from Sto Nino, W. Samar which is off of Calbayog City. I know in nthe past, her extended family has been helped by missions like this. I hope you will be in this are during this mission. Thank you for the services you are providing to so many and showing the world America and its sailors care about helping people.

Anonymous said...

Captain Wiley,
I know that the Seabees are not apart of the ship, but do you think there is anyway there can be info updated on them, as well? If there is anything you could do it would be greatly appreciated. Have a great day & God bless!

Jim Dolbow said...

CAPT Wiley,

Do you have any coasties onboard Mercy! I am with and want to find a USCG angle to blog about. Thanks


PS What a great blog. Keep up the good work!

gwen and allyson said...

hi captain wiley thank you for your time to write this i know you guys safe and your blog helps me feel more connected with my husband while he fa away from us.keep up the good work.

gwen and allyson said...

hi Captain Wiley thanks for the i know your blogs help me feel more connected to my husband say hi to sk2 wilson dacasin.keep up the good work=)

campbell said...

Hello Capitan Wiley

Appreciate your blog, I'm looking forward to learning more about your mission.

It is the most significant action being taken by the U.S. Navy

I dare to hope that one day, as a civilian, you will be involved with TurtleDove Airships' humanitarian work.

Darrell Campbell

marletteus said...

Dear Captian Wiley:
Thank you so much for publishing the blog. My son is aboard your ship helping to keep you all safe and this is a way for me to stay connected.I enjoy reading the blog and the photographs are great too.
Thank-you again,\

sexy said...