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God bless 'em, every one.

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I have a "neighbor" (1.6 mi) I grew up here with who was a Navy combat corpsman in Vietnam, and... DAMN. First thing, cover or remove the red cross from everything you can, toss your helmet overboard, and get a plain green one. Some of his stories are heartbreaking and some are downright miraculous. Even today, he occasionally gets a letter or email asking if he was the one who patched them up in so and so battle on so and so date, and there's no way to answer, because few of them really stand out after half a century.

:FlagAm:

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Two of the Corpsmen, not “Corpsemen” as that idiot called them, on my ship had served in Vietnam. 

 

These two two gentlemen would get visits on our ship when in port from Marines from time to time. They were very respectful visits. 

 

I recall all sitting in the motor whale boat during Flight Quarters and asking the duty Corpsman about the Marines that come and see him and his buddy and his response was “They come to say ‘Thank You’ for patching them up at one time or another.” I Also recall him saying that he really didn’t remember many of them I individually.

Note: during Flight Quarters, helo landings and Vert Reps (vertical replenishment), the motor whale boat is manned with a Coxswain, a boat officer, a Corpsman, a Gunner’s Mate (with a rifle to ward off sharks) and a Boatswain in case there is a helo crash and folks need to be rescued.

 

I spent a lot of time in that boat with those folks...luckily we never had to be lowered for rescue during Flight Quarters.

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Corpsmen are truly a very special breed of cat. There are 2 groups of Sailors that Marines absolutely love: Corpsmen and SeaBees. I have had the pleasure of being tended to by both groups in my career.

 

PF

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Posted (edited)

My old man was an infantryman in Vietnam.  He posted a picture of the Combat Infantry Badge on his facebook page with the comment, "Anyone with one of these is ok in my book."

 

Being an MP, I replied with a picture of the Combat Action Badge and the comment, "Folks with these are ok, too."

Then I replied a second time with a picture of the Combat Field Medic Badge and said, "The English language doesn't contain words for how I feel about these people."

 

 

CIB.jpg

CAB.jpg

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Edited by Cyrus Cassidy #45437
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A now deceased member of one of my clubs was a Navy Corpsman in Vietnam.  He was a small statured man who must have been tough as nails.  I am pretty sure he had at least one Purple Heart.  I distinctly remember him saying that his skill with a handgun enabled him to survive over there and come back to the USA.

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Not to hijack the thread, but maybe take it on a bit of a tangent. I just have to add a humorous incident that happened to me last weekend. I ran a 5K, to honor, in part, Capt. Nick Rozanski, who along with my friend Shawn Hannon and one other soldier, was killed in Afghanistan in 2012. No surprise, several others from my old unit showed up for the run, some of whom knew Rozanski. One Sergeant I hadn't seen in a number of years saw me and his face lit up and he said "Doc! .... Damn, Doc, I can't remember your last name!" We laughed and as soon as I started to say "Ward," he blurted it out. We're hoping more will turn out to run, walk, or whatever next year, and have some fun after.

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18 minutes ago, DocWard said:

Not to hijack the thread, but maybe take it on a bit of a tangent. I

 

Never worry about taking any thread I start down some other path.  Adult conversations wander and meander,  usually ending up somewhere interesting. 

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5 minutes ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

Never worry about taking any thread I start down some other path.  Adult conversations wander and meander,  usually ending up somewhere interesting. 

 

Agreed, but I try to avoid sharp turns in the conversation whenever possible. Makes things less confusing for me.

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55 minutes ago, DocWard said:

 

Agreed, but I try to avoid sharp turns in the conversation whenever possible. Makes things less confusing for me.

 

 

Did you ever watch the show "Connections" by James Burke?  Talk about sharp turns!  

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7 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

 

Did you ever watch the show "Connections" by James Burke?  Talk about sharp turns!  

 

Nope, first I ever heard of it. If time allows, I may watch.

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My late high school biology teacher used to tell us that he was a corpsman with the Marine Raiders under Jimmy Roosevelt. (Not sure if that was the 2nd Raiders after Evans Carlson relinquished the command to Roosevelt, or the 4th Raiders under Roosevelt.  He never said, and I didn't know enough history of the Raiders to ask! :( )

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Every time I've heard the term "Doc" used to address a corpsman, there has been either profound respect, or utter desperation, in the utterance.
One.
Or the other.

Never anything else!

(I was a civilian paramedic. Compared to these workers of miracles, I was a band aid peeler!)

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14 minutes ago, Linn Keller, SASS 27332, BOLD 103 said:

One.
Or the other.

 

Or both.

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On 5/21/2019 at 5:35 PM, Subdeacon Joe said:

God bless 'em, every one.

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Rule #4.  "Docs" brothers and sisters would die to protect him, too.

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I belonged to an Izaac Walton Chapter with a fellow Ike who was a Navy Corpsmen in Vietnam. He managed to get seven rifle holes in a leg while somehow still managing to keep the leg. He did limp a bit. He was awarded the Silver Star for his adventure. If you really wanted to piss him off, just address him as a former Medic instead a Corpsman. He would quickly correct that matter.

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Doesn't sound like any kind of job I would want. If I gotta get shot at I at least want a gun (preferably a rifle) to shoot back!

JHC

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I'm watching Band of Brothers,  just saw the scene where the medic yells at Winters for not knowing how much morphine he gave the man the sentry shot.   And for saying "He was in a lot of pain,  we didn't know what to do. "

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9 minutes ago, Capt. James H. Callahan said:

Doesn't sound like any kind of job I would want. If I gotta get shot at I at least want a gun (preferably a rifle) to shoot back!

JHC

 

Current doctrine gives one and the ammo to go with it.

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13 minutes ago, DocWard said:

 

Current doctrine gives one and the ammo to go with it.

 

Is that due to the nature of the current enemy?

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A lot of corpsmen and medics in 'Nam carried, usually either out of sight, or if too big to hide, very close at hand.

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All of our medics carried weapons. Only ones I ever heard of that didn’t were C.O.s

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On 5/24/2019 at 4:25 AM, DocWard said:

 

Nope, first I ever heard of it. If time allows, I may watch.

An excellent show. Should be shown in history classrooms. 

 

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3 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

Is that due to the nature of the current enemy?

 

I can't say for certain. We were trained to fight as part of the unit to achieve fire superiority during my CMAST (Combat Medic Advanced Skills Training) course. We were trained and discouraged from attempting to apply aid instead of fighting. When medics questioned the cadre about that, and how it was counterintuitive, they would nod and say unofficially to use our best judgment, but to avoid running out to downed soldiers in the open, and to talk them through self-aid from cover if they were conscious. As you can imagine, the idea didn't sit well with most of us, but the reasoning from a doctrine level is sound.

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