Situated thousands of miles away from his home, in southern Afghanistan’s landscape of rugged mountains where people have long known strife, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joe Delino, NC, USNR, ’09 MSN, CRNA, spends his days treating children and adults who have been wounded by improvised explosive devices or gunshots.
Delino, who worked as a flight nurse in Iraq in 2007, is currently serving a seven- to eight-month deployment in Tarin Kowt - the capital of Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan. A relatively isolated town of about 104,000 people located a little more than 200 miles south of Kabul, Tarin Kowt was the site of the first Pashtun - the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan - uprising against the Taliban. The citizens overthrew their Taliban governor in 2001, which marked a turning point in the war against the Taliban for now President Hamid Karzai. Framed by mountains, the only way into Tarin Kowt via the ground is a road often attacked by the Taliban.
Tasked with working primarily as a nurse anesthetist in Tarin Kowt, Delino also flies critical care MEDEVAC missions on Blackhawk helicopters.