Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Let’s Get Started!


Dear Family and Friends,

Can’t seem to get to sleep. We will reach our first mission sight tomorrow morning. Mercy rounded the southern tip of Mindanao (southern Philippines) this afternoon. This means we have entered the Celebes Sea and headed north into the Moro Gulf. Our first stop is Cotabato up near the northeastern corner.

The weather over the last few days has been very hot and humid. The sea is dead calm with only a few puffs of wind. We’ve been weaving through a number of Philippine fishing boats – called Banka Boats – since early this morning. We were treated to an absolutely stunning sunset tonight – as only a sunset at sea can be. The decks topside were jammed with folks coming out to watch. Everyone is excited to get this show on the road.

Each one of us has our own reasons for being here. Most of us, me included, asked to come on this mission. For the medical folks aboard, I have come to realize how significant this voyage is. Navy Medicine offers many unique opportunities to medical professionals that would not otherwise be offered in the private sector…a medical career with the prospect of doing something other then working in your typical hospital. Think about it: A voyage aboard a giant floating hospital ship going on a humanitarian mission to far off places in the world. Too cool! This is why so many of these outstanding individuals not only chose a career in medicine; but also chose to wear our country’s uniform as well. I am grateful to be the one taking them where they need to go.

We departed San Diego almost a month ago on May 1st. We have traveled over 7100 miles to get here. It’s time to get started!

More to come…

Bob

2 comments:

JOJI said...

Thank you for posting this awesome picture. It reminded me of the beautiful sunsets I once loved to watch growing up in the Philippines. Today, I am proud Air Force wife whose husband is a Flight Nurse also on the USNS Mercy. My boys and I would like to give a shout out to Maj. Scott Tonko. God bless you and the rest of the Mercy crew as you accomplish your mission of compassion. We are very proud of you. Way to go! Please keep the blogs coming. Aloha from Hawaii!
Jo, Tyler and Spencer

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