"Gathering Medical Intelligence" is the latest addition to my A Wave of Poetry collection. An important duty as a deployed flight surgeon is to gather local medical intelligence--information about what diseases are prevalent, what medical resources are available &c.
When I was deployed to Indonesia in response to the tsunami of 2004, I was happy to find that a hospital had survived relatively intact on the island of We. Ironically, when I visited it in hopes of using it as a resource, my Indonesian counterpart told me that he had hopes of using me and my supplies as a resource. However, my mission was to insure the health of deployed US military personnel who were there to establish and maintain an airfield to receive relief supplies.
I did not deviate from my mission, tempting though it was. Had I done so, I might have helped a few patients in the hospital, but the larger mission of bringing relief supplies to hundreds of thousands would have been jeopardized.