14 February 2009

Project Compassion Portrait of CPT Yllescas

Project Compassion Portrait of CPT Yllescas


(Source: Project Compassion)


I subscribe to the Yllescas Family Blog


And from Dena's latest post I learned about a wonderful organization called Project Compassion. It was founded by artist Kaziah Hancock, who is the daughter of a disabled veteran.

(Source: CNN)


In 2003 she started painting portraits of fallen soldiers as an act of compassion and kindness for their families. Project Compassion has grown to an organization that offers to paint a free portrait at the request of the surviving next of kin of any soldier who dies in the line of duty since 11 SEP 2001. They will provide this for troops killed due to combat, illness, accident, or suicide. They are funded by the donations of generous citizens and they have a coterie of skilled portrait artists who donate their gift.

Rob Yllescas' painting was done by Clancy DeVries who is a Korean War veteran himself.

(Source: Project Compassion)


The surviving next of kin provides a photograph to Project compassion to serve as the basis for the portrait. The pictures can be official military portraits, informal snaps while on duty, or photographs on leave with family. Here is the photograph that Mr. DeVries used to paint the portrait.

(Source: Yllescas Family Blog)


If you have a moment, view some of the 1227 portraits in the galleries of Project Compassion.


You will see faces of love, honor, devotion, loyalty, youth, joy, strength, humor, mischief, and pride. Some are posed in front of the flag, some wave from HMMWVs, and others hold their babies. We know this: all of them gave so much, and the reason our nation is so strong is because it is rich beyond measure with such amazing individuals who continue to be willing to give. They will not be forgotten; we must remember that we owe them a debt that cannot be repaid.

Here is a news story on Project Compassion if you want to read more:


13 February 2009

Air Force firefighters rescue baby camel trapped in manhole

Firefighters rescue baby camel trapped in manhole


Hi friends!

I haven't written in a long time because work has actually picked up. I have been on a pace of 5-7 operations/week That doesn't sound like much compared to my pace of 3/day in fellowship, but for our hospital, is a lot. When I haven't been in the hospital, M. and I have been working steadily to prepare our house to go on the market. The past few years haven't exactly made this the best time to sell a house! But I will be starting a new job in PA this summer, and move we must.

I thought this story was notable because of all the things that are not said in the article, but one can conclude a lot from the fact that AF troops are leaving the base to go out and rescue a trapped camel!

It is a comfort to know that the rescue crew is not needed for troops and is available for animals. Also, the risk of injury must be low if the crew is leaving the base for the purpose of rescuing a camel. The relationship with the local community must be strong if the Iraqis are not afraid of reprisals and are comfortable calling the Americans. All these things sound like improvements.

I have heard many reports that the violence is greatly decreased in Iraq, especially the south. A friend just sent a very encouraging report that commanders on the ground believed this security was permanent and will last even after US troops are pulled out.

At Balad, the surgeons are taking care of far fewer combat wounds. The trauma wounds I have heard about recently are non-intentional burn wounds. The surgeons have tried to conduct some humanitarian outreach just to have a use for the ORs.

All my best wishes to friends that I have not seen in a long time. Take care, be mello, and have fun!