"...the last person I made out with was a male lieutenant!" - Army Sergeant Christopher Turner, 1/325th Airborne Infantry Regiment
That's probably not the way that Christopher Turner wants to be remembered. He's keeping his Airborne troopers alive as a medic with the Red Falcons - the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment - operating in eastern Afghanistan. Christopher Turner is native of Scotland.
By Pfc. Mike Pryor, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
Aug. 26, 2005
It wasn't even noon yet and already Army Sgt. Christopher Turner had been hit in the face by concrete fragments, forced to deputize a chaplain to man his under-strength aid station, and resuscitated an officer who had stopped breathing.
It was the kind of situation where Turner is at his best.
"I'm just managing the chaos," he said cheerfully as he prepped another bag of intravenous for use.
Turner, 29, originally from Glenrothes, Scotland, is a medic attached to the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. He has been a pillar of dependability for the battalion since it began combat operations in eastern Afghanistan in mid-July.
Turner prefers to view himself as a magnet for trouble.
"I hate my name. I hear it all the time and it's never for anything good. It's never, 'Hey Sgt. Turner you just won $1,000!' It's always, 'Hey Sgt. Turner, I'm hurt!' or, 'Hey Sgt. Turner, I need a medic!" he said.
Turner's abilities were put to good use during Operation Neptune, a massive cordon-and-search operation in the deserts of eastern Afghanistan the battalion conducted Aug. 8 - 12.
Turner was nearby when an officer who had been receiving fluids went into a seizure the night of Aug. 9. Turner leaped into action.
"His eyes rolled back in his head, and his whole body went rigid," Turner said.
The officer had stopped breathing, and his brain was no longer receiving oxygen. Knowing the situation was critical, Turner knelt down and began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
"I gave two rescue breaths, and he shot up and said, 'I'm good! I'm good!" Turner said.
The officer was evacuated by air later that night and is expected to make a full recovery. Turner, typically, downplays the incident. "Yeah, the last person I made out with was a male lieutenant," he said.
After providing medical care throughout the rest of the operation, Turner was riding back to his forward operating base in a convoy when it was ambushed by a group of militants. The well-positioned attackers hit the convoy with improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, and small-arms fire, but miraculously no one was hurt. Then, not so miraculously, the truck Turner was in rolled into a ditch. Despite seeming to bounce from one catastrophe to another, Turner remains upbeat. By his personal yardstick, he said, this deployment has been an unqualified success.
"I've yet to lose a soldier in my care, and that's the way I like it," he said.
I'm sure that's the way all of Turner's soldiers like it. Airborne!
[Hoists the Caol Ila - "Christopher Turner!"]