Waimanalo Doctor Offers Aid in Iraq

Major Aleah Morningstar
Major Aleah Morningstar

HONOLULU (KHNL) - More than 6,000 Hawaii-based Soldiers are deployed to Iraq. When you think about what U.S. Soldier's do in Iraq, patrolling is an image that often comes to mind.

But, Major Aleah Morningstar has a different job. Working in a Combat Support Hospital, a CSH, she compares her experience to the old television show, mash.

"Its just like it. Everyone clowns around, runs wheelchair races, and sings, when we're down. And we're ready to roll, as soon as the chopper lands, we're back here and its all business."

This doctor-soldier says Iraq doesn't compare to her family practice, back home in Hawaii. This field hospital responds to life-threatening traumas, treating U.S. Soldiers, Iraqi civilians, and even enemy insurgents, in large numbers.

"We've had thirteen at one time, and they will fill every bay here and overflow into the intensive care unit, and that's when the whole team comes together."

Its a difficult reality to deal with, but she finds ways to cope.

"You try to do things to keep your head balanced. When you're here, you're working your trauma and trying to do your best for the patient, and you want to keep yourself balanced so, if someone makes a mistake they're on the floor doing twenty push-ups, so that's how you kinda handle it."

Morningstar is six-months into her recently extended fifteen month tour of duty in Iraq.