RANGER AGAINST WAR: Letter to a Medic <

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Letter to a Medic

Hey! I know we're all in strung out shape
but stay frosty and alert.

We can't afford to let one of those bastards in here


Life’s goin' nowhere. Somebody help me, yeah.

I’m stayin' alive.

--Stayin' Alive, The Bee Gees

A friend has asked for some advice for a young medic now preparing for his first overseas deploying to Afghanistan. Ranger will give some basic advice, but any medic readers are encouraged to offer their own specifics (that means you, too, FDC).
He will be reading this.

In addition, friend/reader Deryle coincidentally offered the writings this week of Marc Levy, who served with D 1/7 Cavalry as an infantry medic in Vietnam and Cambodia in 1970. The piece, "
The Medic at Rest", features a link at bottom to writings on his other experiences in Vietnam, so this may provide some more insight.

As an aging soldier, I can say there is one thing worse than getting killed in combat and that is
not getting killed in combat. Whatever you do, do your utmost to perform to the best of your ability and training, because your actions or inaction will stay with you every day of your life.

Keep it clean, keep it simple. Follow your medical training and live by the oath,
first do no harm. You may lose a few in your time, but those that make it have a lifetime ahead of them.

Focus on the wins and minimize your losses. Always focus on today and tomorrow and do not let the past drag you down. Stay frosty, medic.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would add, son your about to enter a fraternity that few others will ever understand, nor your Brothers and Sisters in arms, ever forget BH

Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 8:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

1. Get your PA or the BN surgeon to teach you as much minor surgery as he can. And he should - you're going to save his ass if you can do cut-downs or needle crics in the field.

2. IVs - practice, practice, practice. You should be able to throw a stick in any route, anytime, anywhere.

3. Learn to palpate BPs; noise will fuck you up until you do.

4. You will always need more than you can carry. Try and work out logistical arrangements that will help you hump Class VIII supplies, especially volume expanders; fluids are fucking HEAVY.

5. Talk to the guys with in-country experience ASAP and remember what they tell you.

6. It is easier to get a new medic from REPO than replace a fucked up medic, so don't be a fucked up medic.

7. The one thing I wanted more than anything was a rifle; not even a WORKING rifle, necessarily, just a rifle. Because a smart enemy shoots the people who look different first; RTOs, officers, machinegunners, medics. Don't look different if possible.

8. But the bottom line is that when that snuffy goes down, you have to go to him. Don't sweat it. Just get covering fire and if your guys respect your work they'll fucking mad minute the entire grid square if they can.

Good luck, doc. That's a hell of a proud shingle to put on the door, or the flap of a rucksack. Wear it with pride.

Monday, February 21, 2011 at 8:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you, FDC -- your advice is hard-won, and will be cherished, I am certain. I do hope it will be passed along, as well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 6:32:00 PM GMT-5  

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