This poem is a reflection on the author’s deployment experiences aboard the United States Naval hospital ship, the USNS COMFORT, in support of a humanitarian mission to seven countries over a period of four months. The ten-member eye care team was often tasked with providing care for over 800 patients a day. This poem chronicles the author’s journey from enthusiasm, through exhaustion, sadness, guilt, shame, anxiety, post-traumatic stress to recovery. The author shares this work as part of his recovery process and hopes it provides encouragement to other short- and long-term mission workers experiencing some of the same.



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