Hospital Corpsmen Fight "The Hardest Battle"
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
From Marine 1st Sergeant Ben Grainger's daily reports (AmericantologyTM and the Fallujah Courant) comes this piece about the Marines fighting to save some innocent Iraqis:
The Hardest battle
We had some civilians get hit by an IED yesterday as one of the battalions patrols went by. No Marines were hurt, but once again these people don’t care if they hurt, kill, or maim their own. The Company Commander, our react force, and Doc and myself with the ambulance ran out once again. We loaded up as many as we could at their hospital that wanted to go. One Iraqi for sure lost his arm probably as there wasn’t much left below the elbow, but Doc worked him enough to keep him alive and stabilized. He had another on the other side of the ambulance who I thought for sure would loose a leg but after surgery we were told they were able to save it. No doubt my Doc probably attributed to saving that limb as he has saved many already. We brought them to our hospital as the Iraqi ones aren’t really equipped to handle the severe casualty stuff. We don’t have to, but we do. The Iraqi Doctors just lay them in a bed and try and stop the bleeding until they die. We are their only real fighting chance in severe cases. There were some families that refused to let us take their kids to the hospital for whatever reason. We can’t save them if they won’t let us. We brought the father of the young guy who lost the arm with us to sit at the hospital. As we rushed to the hospital in the ambulance, which is really just a humvee that is modified to be an ambulance, doc hung on in the back. He treated the two casualties in the back, with the aid of two Marines, as I called turns and holes to him from the driver seat. Some how between keeping the bleeding in check, the stomach of one covered and moist, and bracing for bumps as we raced across the city of Fallujah Doc managed to keep both stabilized. AS we rolled into the Camp Fallujah Hospital the doctors were waiting and moved them right in. Within minutes they were in surgery. Looked like something out of a MASH episode. They sanitized and washed all the blood off of the stretchers and concrete as they had done so any times before there. How much of that blood had been my Marines blood I still remember. The Company Commander and I look at the concrete and remember every drop as if it were still there even though you can no longer see it. Connecticut , New Jersey , New York , Vermont , New Hampshire , Virginia and many more states have bleed on that concrete pad. This day it was not to be American blood, but the blood of some Iraqis who had been in the wrong place when insurgents had laid their IED’s. These people don’t care who they kill as we don’t care who we save. It is a life. Doc and a few Marines rescrubbed the stretchers and the back of the ambulance again today. They always have to scrub it out, but I don’t know if the stains even come out anymore. Every time we scrub it and park it we hope it is the last time for we know the road all to well. You can scrub the blood until you no longer see it, but it never really goes away. We have fought many battles in the city, but Doc and I, we know the hardest ones have been fought in the back of that ambulance.
1st Bn 25th Marines
FPO AE 09509-2190