In this Book

Reaching Past The Wire
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On a frigid afternoon in February 2003, Deanna Germain, a nurse practitioner and new grandmother living in Blaine, Minnesota, received the registered letter she had hoped would never arrive. In six days she was to report for active duty as war loomed in Iraq. The purpose of mobilization: “For Enduring Freedom.” With startling detail, Lt. Col. Germain offers a clear-eyed account of life as a nursing supervisor behind the fortified gates of Abu Ghraib. Her duty: To treat Iraqi prisoners, U.S. soldiers, and Marines in need of medical attention. Shortly after she arrived, the notorious prison made headlines around the world for abuses that had stopped months before. Despite unbearable heat, frequent mortar attacks, medical supply shortages, substandard facilities, the relentless stench of war, and sleepless nights quartered in a tiny prison cell, Germain served the medical needs of each of her patients with remarkable humanity. In this crucible of wartime stress, workplace turmoil, and cultural uncertainty, Germain found herself forging powerful connections with colleagues and translators. She learned from translators about normal Iraqi families struggling to survive impossible conditions. And after vowing to avoid personal relationships with prisoners, she became a comfort to many. Duty and compassion, camaraderie and hope all helped to pull her through.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. 1. Six Days to Ready
  2. pp. 3-12
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  1. 2. 120 Degrees and Rising
  2. pp. 13-26
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  1. 3. The Worst Assignment in Iraq
  2. pp. 27-32
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  1. 4. Convoy
  2. pp. 33-42
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  1. 5. Mortar Attack at Abu Ghraib
  2. pp. 43-52
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  1. 6. Living in the Shadows
  2. pp. 51-58
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  1. 7. The Marine and Mohammed
  2. pp. 59-66
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  1. 8. Prisoner Abuse at Abu Ghraib
  2. pp. 67-74
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  1. 9. Attitude Adjustment
  2. pp. 75-82
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  1. 10. Settling In [Contains Image Plates]
  2. pp. 83-102
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  1. 11. A Day in the Life
  2. pp. 103-112
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  1. 12. The Unsung Heroes
  2. pp. 113-136
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  1. 13. Small Pleasures and the Best Day in Iraq
  2. pp. 137-144
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  1. 14. Challenges
  2. pp. 145-152
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  1. 15. God and Good Old-Fashioned Fun
  2. pp. 153-160
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  1. 16. Sami and Grandpa
  2. pp. 161-168
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  1. 17. A Moment in Time
  2. pp. 169-176
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  1. 18. Anything But R & R
  2. pp. 177-184
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  1. 19. Back Home at Abu Ghraib
  2. pp. 185-188
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  1. 20. The Nameless and Faceless
  2. pp. 189-194
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  1. 21. Sisterhood
  2. pp. 195-200
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  1. 22. Finding Myself Again
  2. pp. 201-208
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 209-212
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 213-214
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