Image courtesy: Pfc. David Hauk, U.S. Army. Kandahar, Afghanistan, November 12, 2009

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From the Front

Image courtesy: Cpl. Reece Lodder

On Monday afternoon, I received an e-mail from Cpl. Reece Lodder, a deployed Marine who has kindly kept in touch since our interview for this newspaper column just before he left for Afghanistan.

The Marine combat correspondent asked me to relay a powerful story he just filed from southern Afghanistan in the aftermath of an Apr. 19 terrorist attack in the Garmsir district of Helmand province. The attack wounded eight Afghan national police officers when a suicide bomber targeted their precinct headquarters.

Soon after the explosion, a team of U.S. Navy corpsmen stepped up to provide critical medical care to the wounded Afghans.

"Seeing the corpsmen work like they did under intense pressure was remarkable," Cpl. Lodder, 22, wrote in his e-mail to The Unknown Soldiers. "It gave me a whole new understanding of and respect for their role."

You can read Cpl. Lodder's full report by clicking here.

"We prepare for this type of situation in training, but you can’t fully prepare for how it actually feels," Seaman Robert Ortiz, 22, told Cpl. Lodder. "I had to fight my adrenaline from taking over ... to slow down, take a breath and depend on my training."

As this phenomenal story from the war zone demonstrates, U.S. Navy corpsmen are doing amazing things on the battlefield as they care for Americans and Afghans. Cpl. Reece Lodder and his fellow Marines are also doing incredible things, and we all hope and pray that they come home from Afghanistan safely.

"I'm thankful for and humbled by the opportunity to tell their stories," the military journalist wrote.

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