Saturday, February 07, 2004

The Truly Brave Ones - A Hero in my Book, too.

I've often thought the medics who treated soldiers on the battlefield were unbelievably heroic. They don't get the chance to fire back - they're just sitting ducks out there while trying to save lives. Watch the beach scene in Saving Private Ryan, if you don't believe that. Better yet, here's a true story out of Iraq:

Now comes the story of Army Pvt. Dwayne Turner, a combat medic in the 101st Airborne Division whose exploits under fire in Iraq earned him the Silver Star for gallantry in action.

"I didn't figure myself a hero. I just wanted to make sure everybody came home," Turner said after the medal and 101st Airborne coin were presented to him. "Nobody was going to die on my watch."

Before the firefight in a suburb about 30 miles south of Baghdad, the Iraqis near the U.S. convoy were being friendly as usual, Turner said. But the scene quickly turned violent, and the soldiers were attacked with grenade and small-arms fire.

Responding on instinct, Turner went into action and repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire as he treated wounded soldiers. He was struck by AK-47 bullets in the arm and leg and was hit by shrapnel.

"When we got hit, guys were going down, and I was the medical guy on the scene. It was a split-second decision," he said.

During the 25-minute attack, Turner tended to the wounded until he finally had to be stopped. He was about to pass out from blood loss, said platoon leader Sgt. Neil Mulvany, who treated Turner's injuries.

"He risked his life to save 16 other soldiers," Mulvany said. "That's a hero in my book."

No comments: