Many of us have that one person in our lives who truly inspires us. Some of us are even fortunate enough to be related. I have such a person in my life. My first memories of Greg are of us playing together in my backyard. I was somewhere around four or five years old and Greg was a half year older. In fact, Greg was born on my mom’s birthday, which probably made him her favorite nephew. And if not, well, he at least always had the title of favorite cousin from me. Growing up, Greg was the only boy around my age that I ever felt really comfortable being around. I do have a brother, but we are separated by seven years, him being the younger. And yes, I have other boy cousins, but they were more like typical brothers; cousins who you visit with at family functions, playing with some of them and barely tolerating others.
But Greg was different. For those Grey’s Anatomy folks, Greg was “my person” in our family. Even though our time together was very limited through the years, I always felt a connection to him. Once, in my backyard we were playing “Cowboys and Indians” or “Superheros” or “Cops and Robbers”… one of those kid games. At one point while we were playing, he turned to me and said “I’ll protect you.” And I believed him. That’s just the kind of person he was to me.
Greg was always an adventurist. Rambunctious, wild and woolly, just like boys can be. I remember the time hearing that he had crashed his bicycle, chipping off half of one of his front permanent teeth. He could roll with the punches. And roll he did, with his life. The fact that he has become an authority on wilderness survival, became medically trained, and is currently traveling to help those who have found themselves in the destruction of mother nature’s way, all makes sense. A husband, father, and adventurist… I couldn’t be more proud. So I thought, what better person to feature in my blog than my cousin, Greg Davenport.
“Greg Davenport has been active in disaster preparedness, wilderness medicine, and survival education since 1983. Initially as a Medic teaching in the U.S. Air Force Combat Casualty Care Course and later as a Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) specialist teaching combat and non-combat survival to U.S. aircrew members.”
The previous paragraph is the introduction on Greg’s webpage. He has come a long ways since the days of us playing in my back yard, or even from the days where he lived with my parents while attending classes for a time at Central Washington University. I was away attending out-of-state college myself, so I wasn’t around much for that important transition, but it just seemed only natural that he was a part of our household. Then came the military as he switched gears. There have been many more paths taken to get Greg where he is today. Seven children between him and his amazing wife, Dawn-Marie, including two sets of twins, has certainly played a part in his journey. Published Author, Expert Consultant, Motivational Speaker, Television Host, Physician Assistant as well as Director for a Masters PA Program… the list goes on.
All of this to give a little background on Greg as I share his most recent adventures. The first part of 2015 has seen much destruction, injury and death due to natural disasters in remote areas of our world. With Greg’s medical background, training and experience, it was a natural fit for him to come forward and extend his gifts to those in need.
Greg joined with NYC Medics Global Disaster Relief earlier this year and traveled first to the Shepard Islands of Vanuatu which had seen much devastation due to a level 5 cyclone. Traveling by small commuter plane to reach the island area, the team disembarked to find themselves greeted by what seemed like an entire village. Given the locals dire circumstances, they surprisingly seemed to be in happy spirits. The children ran playing around the new arrivals while the men helped transport the gear. Once settled, there was plenty to do!
The purpose of this post was to share the work being done by Greg and this wonderful organization and highlighting Greg’s experiences. You may discover more of the Vanuatu journey along with some other insightful and wonderful photos by visiting his personal blog entry, DISASTER MEDICINE IN VANUATU.
Mother Nature, being quite full of herself, was soon back to causing more havoc. Shortly after arriving home from Vanuatu, Greg traveled once more with NYC Medics to help provide aid to many who were affected by the multiple earthquakes in Nepal. The death toll and injury counts were astronomical. Aftershocks, secondary quakes and land slides left much damage and destruction. As in Vanuatu, disaster relief was needed, as well as standard medical care, which was not normally received in the outlining areas of the cities.
Traveling through Nepal took a bit more time as organization on the ground was more sketchy due to the chaos the country was under from the events. After a couple of days delay, a helicopter flight was secured out of Kathmandu. Once on the ground again, the team pushed forward, hauling their equipment and supplies on their backs as they finally reached the area where they were to set up camp.
Greg is currently still working on his blog posts, detailing his time spent during these trips. He shares not only about those they were able to give assistance and aid to, but also of his amazing colleagues and their tales, of whom he had the privilege of sharing these journeys with. Check out all of the current Disaster blogs, starting with DISASTER MEDICINE IN VANUATU from the bottom of the list to read in sequence. The updates will continue as he has opportunity to add to them. It’s well worth the click, if even for the photos.. but believe me, you will want to read the entries as they are a wonderful first hand experience. I am so proud and amazed of the time, energy and sacrifices “my person” has committed himself to. Here are a few more amazing photos with links included again at the bottom…