My Corpsman was a “God” to me. And every other “Grunt” outside the wire felt just like I still do. If I were an Army Grunt, I’d feel exactly the same…never talked to any ground pounder that didn’t.
The first time you’re in a full blown fire fight and the Corpsman or Medic gets up “under fire” to save one of your Brothers or Sisters, you feel in “awe” of their courage and self-sacrifice in the face of certain death.
Most people, especially civilians, don’t know that Corpsmen and Medics have more Medals of Honor, Silver Stars, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts than all the other branches of the service combined!
When they return from war, just like the rest of us, they have all the traumas of battle, yet they go one step further. They are “racked with guilt!” You might ask yourself, “How could such heroes feel guilty about anything?”
Fact is, every one of them feels guilt over every man or woman they couldn’t save. And this extends not only to Corpsmen and Medics, but to every single member of every medical unit caring for our wounded.
Day after day, these Heroes both in the field and in Base Units, watch our Troops struggle and in many cases die from their wounds. And each one they lose, makes them feel a little more helpless, a little more guilty. This is why when they return from war, they all need special programs to face problems they didn’t ever think they had.
I have a good friend who was a medic for 30 years. I’ve told her many times how “Her job was to save lives, mine was to take’em.” She had no way to “Vent” her feelings of loss and grief. At least “we” got to go out and blow shit up, or shoot someone deserving. She just had to internalize her pain, and that pain to this day, makes her life agony.
When our medical personnel return to civilian life, they are constantly forced to improvise over issues, which to them are mostly bull shit compared to war. They have to overcome the mental and emotionally crushing traumas of their experiences and pretend to “function” in society. And they must also continually adapt to new and ever changing confrontations with themselves, their peers and often their environment. Meaning, we tend to move around a lot when confronted by assholes and constant stress… shrinks call this a “flight reaction”. I call it sensible extraction. It requires a whole lot less ammo and a slug of body bags.
So what does all this mean? It simply means that our Medical Personnel “Must” have their own combat experienced counselors, their own “Safe” meeting centers and the companionship of those who have shared the same baptism of blood. Who else would understand?
I’ve talked with many of our Young Medics and Corpsmen from these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have the same “Spirit of Honor” now, as in my time on the battlefield, the same dedication to saving lives, and the very same self-less attitude about facing death.
This website is dedicated to helping “All” or our Brother and Sister Warriors. And if you have knowledge of any organizations or groups who are helping our Medical Heroes, please contact me and I will add them to this list.
This is a nice website and has a lot of info on medics and corpsmen.
There are a lot of good photos on this one.
Military activities for medical personnel
Home of Heroes: www.homeofheroes.com
Lots of e-books and photos of wars past.