Monday, September 1, 2008

It still hasn’t set in…

Dear Family & Friends,

It still hasn’t set in… We’re done! It’s time to go home now. Our very last mission site is a wrap. We weighed anchor this afternoon from Chuuk and we are on our way back to Guam for a short logistics stop. We will then be headed east for the long voyage back to San Diego (with a brief stop in Hawaii along the way).

It still hasn’t set in… Our stay here in Chuuk was amazing! The folks here were so very friendly and exceptionally appreciative of our efforts. In addition to Chuuk, Mercy sent “fly-away” teams to work on other islands in FSM – both on Pohnpei and Yap. Here are a few of the numbers for our visit in the Federated States of Micronesia:

Total Patients Seen: 17,709
Surgeries Performed: 204
Prescriptions Filled: 27,892
Glasses Given: 9,168
Veterinary: 793

Our bio-medical repair engineers were able to repair an estimated $507, 200 worth of medical equipment. Also, our Seabees and partner engineering personnel refurbished several schools.

It still hasn’t set in… Although our time is getting short, the usual shipboard routine continues on. This morning we maintained our promotion tradition aboard Mercy. One of our General Surgery residents, LT Matt Tadlock, was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Matt was honored to have the Commander of the 7th Fleet, Vice Admiral John Bird, administer the oath. Naturally, the promotion was done on Mercy’s bridge with Matt raising his right hand while placing his left hand on the ship’s wheel.

It still hasn’t set in…although it’s probably a good thing for me. While the medical folks are winding down their operations, I still have my work cut out for me. There still is a trans-Pacific voyage that needs to be made! Perhaps this will set in for me when we’re securely moored in San Diego.

More to come…



The Peet Family in Liberia: said...

Congrats on your recent Pacific operation. What will you and the Mercy do next? I live and work on the Africa Mercy, a 18,000 grt hospital ship currently on field service in Liberia, West Africa - maybe you have heard of us. We have a crew of nearly 400 including 50 children who are living onboard with their families. We are always looking for new Captains and Deck Officers. Please have a look at or if you have time. regards, Olly Peet

Nenginin Chuuk said...

We the people of Chuuk would have to agree with you when you said your visit to Chuuk was "amazing," but in a different perspective of course. Even after your departure today, we are still amazed when we think back to what you and everyone on the PP08 team did for the people of Chuuk. All of you must have heard so many 'thank yous’ and 'kinisou chapur', but I do not think we can ever thank you ENOUGH. We are truly blessed to have been visited by angels on their big white angel boat :) The sight of the beautiful Mercy in the Chuuk Lagoon will forever live in our hearts.

Pat, Pam, & Sean said...

Hey Capt. Bob!!
Awesome-- Awesome-- Awesome.
It might be premature to say a job well done. But, a Job well done with a capital J..My family and I have been following you and your writings every step of the way. Congratulations to you and your Crew. We hope to get to see you when you get to San Diego.


Keith P Morgan said...

I was privilaged to be a member of the OP SMILE team in PNG. We were immensely impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the Mercy crew. Congratulations on completing such a worthwhile mission. PP08 has been a triumph.
I wish you all a safe and speedy passage home to your loved ones.

Dudarro said...

Capt Wiley- thank you and the whole crew for a terrific job well done! BZ!. We've kept up with the ship's events via the blog. Thank you again.
Raja Chatterjee (CDR, MC, USNR, aboard PP08 in Vietnam).

Navy Mom said...

Hello Cpt. Wiley,

Have a HAPPY, HAPPY AND SAFE RETURN HOME, you all did amazing work, giving your best to provide help, sacrificing common commodities, which was greatly and beyond means appreciated everywhere. You all must be exhausted, but the good feeling in your hearts must be there. I cannot wait to see you, having you in my mind 24/7. I am so proud of you, and brag about you to everybody who wnats to hear it or not, no escape there; but the pride is within yourselves.
Wind down, keep you crew safe and I will see you in Pearl Harbor :):):),
Kudus to everyone, you all rock!


Renate Di-Do :)

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