RANGER AGAINST WAR: Field Dressing <

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Field Dressing

You and me against the world
Sometimes it feels like you and me
against the world
--You and Me Against the World,
Helen Reddy

Then put your little hand in mind
There ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb
--I Got You Babe, Sonny & Cher

A sucking chest wound is nature's way
of telling you to slow down

This entry was inspired by a talk with Joe Lama, former Infantry Lieutenant, Vietnam.

We were discussing the short life spans of infantry lieutenants in ground combat when former Lt. Lama commented on the field dressing that every one of us carried on our Load Bearing Equipment [LBE], today's LC-1 Alice pouch. He mused upon the fact that we were trained and expected NOT to share this item with anyone else.

Field dressing was a uniquely personal item of issue. If you used it on someone else and then got a serious wound yourself, you were in a world of hurt.

This fact had escaped my memory, but Joe was right. We were taught that our prime duty was to take care of ourselves first, and preserve our own lives. We as Infantry are trained to share our food, water and ammunition, but we were NEVER give up our field dressing.

We did not share our field dressing, and this message must have had some subliminal effect upon our minds.

But what was the effect?



Anonymous Sven Ortmann said...

I was taught the same, and I remember it closely associated with the order to fill the canteen only with water.

The message was in my case to keep your own emergency stuff in useful condition.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 2:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear lord! You depress me more than you would ever believe. Sucking chest wounds and field dressings. Jesus!

Please, please, go fishing or play golf or visit the cool woods of Maine. Do whatever it takes to make you slip away from grim reality and laugh for awhile.

Jay in N.C.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 8:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

As a medic I had to lug all that stuff around knowing that most of you would have already bled through your teensy little FFD by the time I got to you.

I remember asking my senior medic about the morphine. There were so MANY wounds for which it was contraindicated that I couldn't get why we had so many syrettes of the damn stuff.

"Because the only thing more sucky that dying, sunshine," he replied, "...is the part where dying hurts. THAT'S what the morphine is for."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 10:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


That is really a champion message, and quite ironic you should mention ME, actually ...


A very sad and sobering thought. Civilians -- even the pious -- don't like to contemplate their personal impending death, but it comes for us all ("Because I could not stop for death/he kindly stopped for me").

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 9:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

If you want sunshine blown up your ass then RAW is not the place for you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 9:09:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous barcalounger said...

FDChief-If I was a medic and faced with a lot of people with multiple traumatic/life-threatening injuries, I'd be the one taking the morphine. Just to cope.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 11:14:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Most of us carried more than 1 field dressing, just as we carried multiple canteens and at least 3 basic loads of rifle ammo.
I had been known to put unauthorized liquids in my canteen. As a mortarman , i used to carry bottles of wine in my 577.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 11:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I once had the Medic go into shock from ground hornet bites since he bedded down on their hive.
There were no wounds , but the situation was just as dire.
And that was in training.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 11:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

To all,
Since Jay mentioned sucking chest wounds, i'd like to add that we were trained to use the plastic wrapper to seal sucking wounds. Radio battery wrappers and cigarette cellophane were also expedients for this purpose.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 12:12:00 PM GMT-5  

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