Dr. Cummins is back from Afghanistan

Greetings from the great State of Georgia! I’ve finally made it back to Dixieland and am anticipating being in Mississippi by the end of this week. It was not easy getting this far and I’ll share with you all about the trip home. I was supposed to leave Bagram, Afghanistan, about 10 days ago. Though I had a “reserved” seat, it still took about 3 days for me to get out of there and on to Kuwait. This was secondary to disorganization, poor communication and bad weather. Once in Kuwait, I had to wait three days for my flight home, the Freedom Flight. While waiting in Kuwait, whom should stay in the “holding” tent but the Command and Staff of the 155th Mississippi Army National Guard. What a great way to end my tour! They were on the way back home from an initial trip to Iraq where our Mississippians will be deployed around mid-year. They send their regards to all of our citizens, especially “Chief” Spiers and BRIG GEN Taylor, MD. Let us pray for these men and their families. On Saturday we reported for our flight early in the morning. We had to attend briefings, pass through customs, etc. This took most of the day. Once getting all the way through this process, we were put under “lock down” while waiting for the flight. Basically, we were put in a tent watching “eighties” movies as we waited for our buses to carry us to the airport. Well, a sand storm “hit” and we had to wait several more hours with a few more old movies. Once we got on board the buses, due to the still on-going sand storm, it took several more hours to get to the airport. After getting everyone on board, we took off for Shannon, Ireland. At Shannon, Ireland, we unloaded and waited for the jet to refuel. Then, we found out that a part was broken and had to wait for a new part. So, the flight to Shannon took about eight hours and getting the new part took about six. The Mississippi Guardsmen and I made small talk and made the best of a long, tiring situation. As we were on Army “orders,” there was no imbibing of alcohol of any sort allowed which seemed kind of strange since we were in the land of Irish Cream, Irish whiskey & Guinness. Some folks were much more disappointed than I. I did get to have some warm Irish breakfast tea which was pretty good. Finally, we took off from Shannon, Ireland, and crossed the “pond” and arrived in Fort Dix New Jersey after about eight hours or so. The USO greeted us with a hot breakfast as we, again, waited for the plane to gas-up. This took an hour or so and, then, we were off to Fort Benning! The anticipation was building! About four hours, or so, later, we arrived. We were welcomed by a band with some pomp and circumstance. I enjoyed it, even though I was worn out. I wish our soldiers returning from Vietnam would have received this treatment, they deserved it much more than me. They are some of the most undervalued and forgotten soldiers in American history, in my opinion, that are still living. Now, I’m attending de-mobilization briefings and, if able and if desired by the Southern Sentinel, I will give more details on this next week. I look forward to seeing all of you, especially my dear wife, Eliana, my precious girls, Isabella and Sarah Grace and all of my family and friends. God bless. Regards, Christopher Cummins, MD CPT, USAR Magnolia State Family Medicine

Dr. Christopher Cummins