Author Topic: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?  (Read 8867 times)

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Offline Rider Pride

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Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« on: September 04, 2006, 17:45:53 »
Here is a really good storey from Cpl Saunders, who is an armoured soldier driving a Bison Amb in the Evac Sect of Health Service Support (HSS) Company. He writes a column for CBC, and does some good too.

Biography
 
Cpl. Brian Sanders joined the Canadian Forces 11 years ago while he was in college. Shortly after, he decided to become a full-time soldier and joined the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) regiment. The 29-year-old native of Strathroy, Ont., has served in Kosovo and Bosnia. He is currently on duty in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he drives an armoured ambulance.

article can be found here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_sanders/20060901.html

An Afghan odyssey
Sept. 1, 2006

Part 1: A perfectly designed ambush / July 2006

At home on leave, I had stopped by my local Legion, where an old war veteran asked me about my role in Afghanistan. Then he put his arm around me and told me that now we could share Remembrance Day together, every time the flag is lowered at Parliament.

I remained puzzled by his comments until just a couple weeks ago. Remembrance Day has a new meaning for me now.

Every day in Afghanistan starts the same way, and this day had seemed no different. At 9 a.m. I received a warning order for what my superiors were calling "the Big Op," but to me it seemed just another operation, this one three days in the Panjwaii district.

The armoured ambulance I drive rolls at the rear, at least a kilometre away from the action, and normally the only time we go forward is after the fight to clean up and transport the wounded.

Packing for three days is easy: six pairs of socks, six pairs of boxers and two sets of combat fatigues, but also included is some mac 'n' cheese sent by a good friend of mine, an MP3 player, a crossword book, and the New Testament, sent by Josiah, the nine-year-old son of a friend.

As with every operation, I need to make sure this 13-tonne ambulance remains in top order. Oil levels are checked, grease nipples lubed, 48 hours of rations packed, and as much water stored as the vehicle can hold. After that, weapons are oiled and loaded. An ambulance is not meant as a fighting vehicle, but under enemy contact, we need to be as deadly as required.

The medic in the back of the ambulance is Cpl. Toezer, an ex-infantryman who re-enroled as a medic. He has taught me everything from how to insert IVs to dressing an amputation.

After Toezer finished preparing his end of the ambulance, we were greeted by our crew commander Cpl. Creelman. He's another outstanding soldier, a former combat engineer who re-enroled as a medic five years ago. He commands the vehicle and is responsible for the care of casualties from the time they are injured until they are removed via helicopter. Combined, the three of us with over 30 years of combat trade experience make up the most experienced ambulance crew in Afghanistan.

Secondary orders revealed we would not be leaving until 8 p.m. that night under the cover of darkness, providing time to relax and prepare ourselves. I walked over to the Burger King for my traditional pre-operation dinner, and three Whoppers later enjoyed a short nap. But before long I was standing ready by my ambulance. The compound was filled with three companies of vehicles, about 60 vehicles. After a quick radio check it was time to roll.

The trip to Panjwaii took about two hours, one of the quietest drives I've experienced here. The moon was full and cast an odd silhouette from our vehicles, which were driving in blackout mode without lights. The road changed from paved to gravel and then eventually faded into a wadi, or a dried-up riverbed.

A perfectly designed ambush

A couple of kilometres before our staging area, the radio broke silence. Air reconnaissance reported women and children leaving the area we were to occupy, a clear sign Taliban were in the area and prepared to fight. Even before the warning was completed all hell broke loose.

The light-armoured vehicle just in front of us flashed in silhouette as a rocket-propelled grenade exploded directly ahead. A perfectly designed ambush unfolded, a fury of bullets raining down on our column of vehicles, the sky filled with tracer rounds. A flood of contact reports came over the radio. The enemy, dug in, gave us everything they had.

Our vehicles returned machine-gun fire while soldiers armed with C7 rifles returned shots from the air sentry hatches in the vehicles. The turrets of our light-armoured vehicles, mounted with 25 mm Chain guns, engaged Taliban in bunkers that circled us.

The initial contact lasted about two hours and produced some of the most intense fighting any of us had seen. The sound of bullets whizzing past my head was almost comforting, as I knew they weren't too close. Then the bullets starting cracking, a sound that means they're just missing.

No sooner had I lowered my seat to use the periscopes than bullets began striking our vehicle. I reached for my camera and mounted it outside my hatch to videotape the chaos, thinking it would serve later to remind me of how safe we are in Canada.

It's hard to explain the feelings that passed through me at this time. It was unreal, but 12 years of training and field exercises in Canada designed to prepare me for this day were having their proper effect.

Shortly after the enemy fled into the neighbouring village, reports of injured starting coming in, which meant it was our time to get busy. The only injured were the enemy, proving the value of our armoured vehicles once again. Regardless of which side the injured were fighting on, our job as medics is to sustain life.

In this case the injured enemy was on the other side of a mud wall and could not be easily moved because of seven bullet wounds. Without a second thought, I drove straight through the three-metre wall and came to a rest beside the injured combatant, whose perilous condition suddenly made this fight seem very real.

Toezer jumped out of the back and began to bandage bleeding wounds, but shortly after determined his patient had a collapsed lung. He pulled out a huge needle, fingered down the rib cage and then in a single motion jabbed him with the needle. It was shocking to see, and I asked him what the heck he had just done.

"Ever see the movie Three Kings? Toezer asked, and then I remembered its graphic description of how to treat a collapsed lung. The movies are not always just Hollywood tricks.

A few minutes passed before the injured man was put on a stretcher and moved to the back of the ambulance. A helicopter was ordered and we drove to the landing site.

By this time the first light from a rising sun had begun to show on the horizon, and our battlefield revealed itself. Not even five minutes into the evacuation, the radio was jammed again with contact reports. Above the roar of the vehicle we heard gunshots and explosions. My foot slammed the accelerator to speed delivery of our casualty so we could return to provide assistance.

More casualties: Priority one

Ten minutes passed before we returned to the fight, halting this time near a school destroyed by the Taliban inside the abandoned village. I sat with my head poking out of the driver's hole, listening to the fight 500 metres away, when rounds started coming in at us. More cracking of bullets before I reminded myself to drop my seat and take cover.

Seconds later the radio called for a medical evacuation, which required driving through the firefight to the opposite side of the village to grab our casualties. This time there were four of them, all coalition forces. Over the intercom Creelman instructed me to follow the armoured vehicle in front of us, which would provide our fire support.

We entered what seemed like a video game come to life — rounds flying everywhere, Apache helicopters firing rockets, and A-10 fighter jets dropping munitions — but this was an experience beyond any simulation. Once through the firefight, and behind the protection of a mud wall, we arrived on the company Sgt. Maj. with the first batch of casualties — some shrapnel wounds, and one Afghan national army soldier (one of the good guys) with a bullet through his neck. How lucky was this guy — the bullet went in and out without hitting anything vital. He was conscious and breathing.

Again the helicopter was ordered and we returned through the firefight to the landing site. By this time the adrenalin was wearing off and fatigue setting in, but I shook it off, just in time to hear we had more casualties — a priority one this time. That's never good, and Toezer prepared for the worst. After driving back through the battle, we arrived at the casualty collection point, but found nobody there yet. Over the radio we were told the casualty was not breathing and had no pulse. They had stopped trying to resuscitate the soldier.

An eerie feeling filled the air as we waited to receive the casualty. Creelman asked if I knew how to get back to the landing site without his guidance. I nodded, and he said he would be in the back with Toezer trying to bring our friend back to life. After what seemed a long wait, our casualty arrived and we were off.

Minutes later we were at the landing site where the helicopter was waiting. I dropped the ramp and jumped out of the ambulance to assist. Creelman and Toezer were working non-stop with CPR and mouth-to-mouth. Within seconds, our fallen comrade was on the bird and whisked away.

Rest in peace my friend, you will be remembered always. I will pay tribute to you every Nov. 11

"Return with your shield, or upon it."

17thRecceSgt

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2006, 19:34:37 »
Thanks ArmyMedic. 

:salute: every single one of them.

Offline ParaMedTech

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2006, 21:55:25 »
Thanks for that, our (and our allies') medics are doing some fantastic work over in the sandbox.

DF
Carter, hand me my thinking grenades.

Online GAP

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2006, 22:14:04 »
excellent  :salute:
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I´m not so sure about the universe

Offline 1Good_Woman

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2006, 22:26:56 »
Thank you for that! Perhaps if more civvies such as myself were able to read first hand accounts like this they'd better understand the importance of this mission and just how crucial our support is.  :cdn:
"Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches, it's more like a jar of  Jalapeno's--what you do today might burn your *** tomorrow..."

Offline Rider Pride

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2006, 07:37:58 »
Part 2 of the storey:

Part 2: Here's a straw. Suck it up

Twenty hours had passed since the initial contact, and the sounds of bullets had faded to a familiar background noise. We moved into a staging area 100 metres behind a targeted area, a building where two insurgents refused to give up. We fired artillery, RPGs, 25 mm rounds and even Apache Hellfire rockets into this building, and still they continued to fight. The radio informed us that next they would be dropping something big.

Two more casualties were radioed in, and again we drove to pick up two injured soldiers. "Doc!" one of them screamed, "Are they all right?" Puzzled, we loaded him on a stretcher. "Are they still there?" he yelled again.

"What are you talking about?" Toezer asked, and then the casualty exposed his crotch, where he had a small shrapnel wound, but one that missed his children-maker by millimetres. Toezer ensured him everything was intact.

The laughter from our much-relieved casualty was broken by the deafening crack of a 2,000-pound bomb destroying the enemy bunker. Soldiers cleared the area and found a reinforced tunnel inside the building. We took off to the landing site and transferred our casualties.

The battle finally subsided after 34 hours of fighting. We pulled into a wheat field and set up a small medical station to deal with minor ailments. The companies rolled through our resupply point before they headed off to a staging area to replenish supplies and eat. We saw about 20 patients, most of them just dehydrated or with minor shrapnel wounds requiring a bandage — and a straw. When I asked Creelman what the straw was for, he laughed.

"Suck it up and carry on."

Wake-up call

It was now time for some personal maintenance. Mac 'n' cheese and a good read kept me company until I fell asleep on the ground. A few hours later I was woken to provide sentry duty for an hour. When you train in Canada, the enemy is just our guys playing a part. There's no threat of bullets, just embarrassment if they sneak by you. But in Afghanistan the fear of being shot keeps your eyes open better then any cup of Tim Hortons coffee.

As the sun peeked over the horizon, our company moved to a staging area north of Panjwaii, 48 hours into the operation. The enemy was defeated and the local population had reclaimed their village. Creelman left for orders, Toezer filled out a resupply request and I refuelled the vehicle.

An hour later Creelman returned. "I don't know how to tell you this, guys, but we are not going back. The British to the north have been receiving a lot of contacts, and they don't have the resources to resupply. We are going to be out here for a lot longer then we thought. Relax for the next six hours, and then we are pushing about five hours north."

It was a good thing I'd packed for another couple of days. I reached into the ambulance and grabbed our satellite phone. The best thing about our army is that they supply a phone so you can call home and talk to friends. As you are talking, you can close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting on your couch at home, talking on the phone. For a minute, it takes you away from the arid lands of Afghanistan.

I curled up beside the front tire of my ambulance and looked at the stars. Every minute or two, you could spot a falling star, which to anyone else would be spectacular. Here I flinched, waiting for a big boom. If 10 seconds passed without a boom, I knew it was just a star. Finally I caught a little sleep.

"Return with your shield, or upon it."

Offline Hunter

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2006, 14:04:06 »
Thanks for posting that armymedic, a great read.     :salute:
Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim
(Be patient and tough; one day this pain will be useful to you)
- Ovid

Offline Haggis

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2006, 14:30:32 »
I've been seeing and reading a lot of similar articles/blogs etc. recently from our troops.  What strikes me as impressive (aside from the stories themselves) is that we have so many wonderfully articulate and talented writers and storytellers in the ranks.

Keep it up, troops! :salute:
Train like your life depends on it.  Some day, it may.

Offline Rider Pride

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2006, 15:35:58 »
Part 3: Incoming missiles

Cpl. Creelman woke me up: "It's time to go, man." As I tossed my blanket aside and slipped into my boots, a tremendous itch came over my arms. They were covered in sand flea bites, too many to count. Cpl. Toezer laughed at me. "Yeah, we all got 'em. He gave me some calamine lotion - and a straw. I gave him the finger and went to start my vehicle.

The wind was strong today and the dust thick, with visibility only about 100 metres and soon to be worse once we started moving. I stuck my MP3 player in my ear and we began a long drive north through the hot sands of the desert.

Camels dotted the horizon, and every once in a while we passed through a small village. There are lots of kids in this country; most of them wave, and some throw rocks, just kids being kids. The girls used to be completely covered from head to toe, but now that the Taliban have lost influence, more faces are visible, revealing huge smiles.

Our journey took 10 hours rather than six, but eventually the British Forward Operating Base Robinson could be seen on top of a hill. It was a nice little base, complete with washrooms, showers and sand. There was no kitchen, but every once in a while, the local Afghan national army soldiers would visit a village and get a sheep for dinner. There was a big-screen television and two computers with internet access. On my first night there I relaxed to British humor on the telly, and it was so refreshing to laugh out loud and forget some recent events.

I should have known better then to let my guard down when I was outside the wire. Shortly after watching television, I was falling asleep under the stars when an earth-shattering boom rocked the base. As I sat up, another explosion, this one closer, made my ears ring. I ran to the back of my vehicle where I found both medics sitting inside and jumped in to join them. In the distance we heard a mortar being fired, a dull thump, then counted to 10 before the explosion of the incoming round, but we could only guess as to where the round would land. Once the barrage was over, it was back to bed, but needless to say it was a light sleep.

The next morning we left to resupply the company of British a little farther north, a routine run that became anything but. An hour outside the base was a relatively prosperous town with a water supply from the north that ran through the centre, providing life to a variety of orchards and fields. Our mission, as the ambulance crew, was to stay south of the village during the resupply. At the same time, Canadian, British and Afghan soldiers would search the village for Taliban and weapons.

The target is us

Sitting on top of a hill, safe from gunfire, I sat on top of my ambulance with Creelman. It was quiet and hot. The radio informed us of weapons caches found and then minutes later destroyed, routine stuff. Until a missile flew about three metres over our heads.

Remember the movie Top Gun, when a jet flies by at low altitude and all you hear is that zzzzzz OOOOOOOO mmmmmm noise? Well that's what it sounded like when a missile buzzed over our heads, followed by a large explosion a few hundred metres behind us. Baffled, I stupidly stood up to see what it was. In the distance I saw another cloud of smoke, followed by another zoom past my head and another explosion.

Buried in the hull of the vehicle, we radioed our boss to inform him the ambulance was being targeted. Apache helicopters soon found the area the rounds were fired from and destroyed the threat. Later we concluded that two Stinger missiles had been fired at us. You might think I'm crazy for saying so, but this was the coolest experience I've ever had.

There, I said it. Don't like it? Here's a straw.

"Return with your shield, or upon it."

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2006, 15:41:05 »
And that memory will never fade either. All the bad stuff happens and such, but among each other what is remembered is the exilerating times. I know it's not PC to talk about it, but it is exciting, gut wrenching, scary, and everything else, but God....it was FUN too!!
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I´m not so sure about the universe

Offline Rider Pride

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2006, 22:16:18 »
Part 4: "I know you guys wanted to go back but…

As night began to settle, our bosses decided it would be best for the resupply vehicles to stay in the British compound while we went back to FOB Robinson. From the base I called a good friend in Edmonton, and still vibrating with adrenalin, chatted with him about his kids and life at home. In the middle of our conversation, I heard a familiar distant thump, and before I could hang up there was an explosion, soon followed by others as a barrage of rounds landed around us. A half hour later the all-clear was given, and I called my friend back. I won't repeat his thoughts here, but will be more careful about the timing of my next call to him.

The next morning we finally started on our journey back home to Kandahar, and I offered to buy Creelman and Toezer a pizza once we returned. Moving into the village we passed friendly faces waving at us, more kids throwing rocks, and this time girls completely covered in traditional burka dress. We pulled into the British compound to meet our resupply vehicles and parked by the river.

I had just shut off my vehicle when a building not 200 metres in front of me collapsed. At first it seemed puzzling, because I hadn't heard an explosion, but I soon realized we were under a mortar attack. The British returned fire with artillery at bunkers hidden in the mountains around us. The attack continued for a couple of hours, but at this point we had been fired upon so much that we weren't even taking cover. We had our helmets and flak vests on, but because it was a guessing game as to where rounds would land, nowhere was safe.

As evening set in, everyone realized we would not be returning to Kandahar that night, and then came new orders from our commanding officer. "I know you guys are tired, I know you guys want to go back, but we are needed again." This time our mission would push farther west, about 180 km to a place called Lashkar Gah.

Last one in…

By this time of the evening, with a shower nowhere in sight, the nearby river began to look pretty refreshing. Creelman warned us about bacteria and other nasty stuff the river might contain, as the locals use it for sewage disposal and washing cars, animals and themselves. He also advised us that we had limited supplies for treating illnesses that might arise from bathing in the river.

Five minutes after his lecture, the river was filled with soldiers cooling off and attempting to rinse days of dirt and sweat off their clothes. I turned around to hear some giggling and found Creelman himself floating in the river. All I could do was laugh.

Secondary orders followed that night, revealing we would wait a day before pushing west to assist the British operation. I used the time to do some maintenance on the ambulance. Toezer scrounged together the last of our supplies and cleaned out the back of the ambulance. Creelman, thoughtful soldier that he is, put on a brew of coffee for us.

The day was pretty relaxing, apart from the few soldiers who came in for treatment of skin rashes.

Desserts and deserts

As we moved west in the morning, we were surprised to find local Afghans constructing a newly paved highway. This was the first time that I had actually seen much in the way of infrastructure. Because of this new highway, it was a relatively quick drive into Lashkar Gah.

Once inside the town, the first thing we noticed were the buildings, which weren't just built from mud. The village was constructed by the Americans years ago, in conjunction with the Afghan locals. Kids smiled and waved, and parents too, something that is rare. Once in the British camp, a wave of Canadians headed first for the showers and toilets, then to the store for cold pop, chips and candy, then off to the kitchen.

The food was not only tasty, but beautifully displayed on stainless steel trays that looked like silver platters. Dessert was even better, custard and ice cream, definitely one of the most satisfying meals I've ever had. That night, inside the walls of the British camp, we were able to let our guard down just enough to get a good eight hours sleep. No one knew what tomorrow would bring, so we savoured every minute.

The next morning orders were issued again: "All right guys, we have two more days left before we head back to KAF; we need a little more work out of you and then we will push on."

British and Canadian forces were conducting search operations 70 km to the southwest, and our mission was simply to resupply them, which sounded easy enough.

The desert this far west was like a cartoon image, nothing but sand dunes. We arrived at the first resupply point and handed out water, bullets and beans. Our mechanics tended to a couple of vehicles suffering from the wear and tear of the terrain, and we medics tended to minor illnesses, and cuts and bruises.

Just another mortar attack

The resupply took a little longer then expected, and it was under cover of darkness that we moved on to the next company. But waiting for a truck to meet us at the road, flashes lit up the night sky and once again the sound of mortar rounds assaulted our ears. Strangely enough, I didn't flinch. Creelman was the most relaxed he had ever been, he said, and Toezer as well. We don't have post-traumatic stress disorder — we're just carriers now.

The attack only lasted about 20 minutes, and we left shortly after. The moon had yet to rise, and with our lights off it was pitch black, with nothing but a faint silhouette ahead to follow to the next location. A lot of guys use the infrared night vision, but I am more comfortable with my own night sight, and the night vision offered no assistance anyway once the dust kicked up. Eventually we made it to the next resupply point, but this time we faced more work than just scratches and bruises.

A local civilian had been beaten badly by the Afghan national police and suffered severe spinal injuries. We offered to move him to the British camp.

It took about three hours to get him to camp, and my driving skills were tested. By now it was 3 a.m., and besides the darkness and rough terrain, I had to fight fatigue, all the while keeping my ambulance well balanced so as not to aggravate our patient's spine. When we finally arrived at the camp, the British could not help him, and we were turned away. Finally we found a hospital located in Lashkar Gah, built by the Americans for local civilians injured by war. That's what the sign said, and it was in English.

Finally, after four hours on a spine board for this injured 65-year-old man, we put him in the hands of capable doctors. Later we found that the man was an influential leader of the village nearby, and our assistance helped changed the views of some Afghans; an unspoken friendship was made.

We moved back to the British camp, and awaited the rest of the convoy to return, which took until the following evening because of vehicle problems. The next morning brought the good news that we would finally return to the Kandahar base in the afternoon. Morale was at an all-time high, and the morning was spent enjoying some British coffee and a couple of cigarettes on the makeshift patios. Stories circulated around the table about the recent action in Panjwaii, but it seemed like months had passed since that incident. After one soldier told us about the events that led to our friend being shot and killed, everyone became silent and the reminiscing ceased.

The move back passed quickly, everyone had a lead foot as we pushed closer and closer to the base. Night had fallen by the time we reached Kandahar city, and it was nothing like I had remembered it. Shops and restaurants and hotels had opened. Fruits and vegetables were for sale. You would never have guessed that the city had just gone through a war. It was amazing. Because of our presence, people had their lives back.

A lot of people in Canada think that we should not be here in Afghanistan, but those people don't see the remarkable changes happening here. One interpreter told me, "Because Canada is here, our people are happy again."

So to all those Canadians who continue to harp about what they don't know — here's your straw, suck it up.
"Return with your shield, or upon it."

17thRecceSgt

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2006, 23:07:33 »
I really like these ArmyMedic, particularly the last few lines/paragraph in this one. 

 :salute:

Offline MeghanC

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2009, 01:55:19 »
I really enjoyed reading your posts ArmyMedic about your time in Afghanistan, and it has reaffirmed my decision to go Medic, which I was starting to doubt after reading many of the threads here. You have inspired me.

Offline Breacher41

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2009, 02:27:05 »
I really enjoyed reading your posts ArmyMedic about your time in Afghanistan, and it has reaffirmed my decision to go Medic, which I was starting to doubt after reading many of the threads here. You have inspired me.

Why would reading threads here make you doubt your decisions to go as a MedTech? You think all of your time would be spent in a rush of excitement and glory? You didn't like the domestic hurry up and wait? Or the strenuous wait times? Or the lack of directions in training?

I'm glad someone here was able to inspire you... because honestly the rest of us was just trying to push people out of the MedTech trade.... right....  if a little ranting of a internet board can uninspire you... wait till you're sitting there waiting for the first jacking up because you missed X, Y and Z.
هناك [هس تو] كنت يستعصي طريق

Offline Spanky

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2009, 07:17:35 »
Wow, great articles.   Thanks for providing them.  In addition to be being interesting, motivating and insightful, they are well written.  I think I'll use them as examples to my new class of grade 8 students. 
Nos superstes inflatus fossor
(We survive pompus fools)

Offline Jammer

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2009, 07:42:27 »
To every medic that patched us up, said a kind word, or was just there when we desperately needed you,
Thank You!
What could possibly go wrong?

Offline MeghanC

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2009, 01:46:25 »
Medtech, I found the posts very inspiring, because it reminded me of the bigger picture of what a Med Tech can achieve in their career, namely helping people who are in extreme need. I personally missed the "glory and excitement" you are referring to, but then I am ex-combat arms, I don't have that false belief that there is glory in war. Oh, I can suck it up, I've been jacked up, I've hurried up and waited. None of those things are a big deal and you know it.  But when one is considering a trade they will hopefully spend the rest of their career doing it is discouraging to read the number of threads here that have the common theme of frustration with the restructure of your trade, training issues, waiting years doing vehicle maintenance, and just a general sense of unhappiness with how their careers are going.  Perhaps some of the threads do not show accurately the life of a Med Tech today as I have read all the way back from the start on this sub-board, and I am sure some things have changed and hopefully improved.  Ranting on a internet board doesn't bother me, it is the situations causing the ranting that concern me.  Of course, this is a problem that affects many trades to some degree, if not all trades.  I guess reading this sub-board straight through over a few days the negative comments about the trades seem multiplied. 

I hope that makes things clearer for you and I still find the posts very inspirational and I hope I always do.


Offline Breacher41

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Re: Whats it like to be a medic in Afghanistan?
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2009, 02:15:30 »
Great you found inspiration.








Edited because it just doesn't matter...
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 02:34:00 by MedTech »
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