I submitted a leave request to my chain of command five days ago so I could spend two weeks along the border of Sudan in Chad, treating the survivors of the genocide that's being inflicted on them by Sudan's oppressive government. Despite having trained my Marine counterpart in all of my duties and abilities, my COC will not let me go on leave right now. I respect that decision they've made but my heart is heavy knowing I am unable to go there and help. I suppose five years ago, with no formal medical or humanitarian aid training at all, this wouldn't hurt so bad... just write a check and keep writing e-mails and letters to people in power. But now that I've gained skills and abilities from Doctors Without Borders and the US Navy, its different. My skills and abilities are in need there, and I can't use them. So I apoglogize to the people there. I can't help you hands-on. I can't listen to your stories of horror and survival, I can't pray with you for justice and peace, I can't offer your most in pain treatment or relief. I do promise I will continue to write as many letters, essays and message board posts on your plight and the crimes being committed against you every day I remain on land. And even when I'm at sea, I'll do the same as best I can do under the circumstances of 12 hour flight deck watches and drills. I hope there are those on this board who will feel in a similar fashion (and I think there are) and do their part to contribute to the greatest cause of all: working towards the freedom of oppressed peoples. injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.