Minutes later an ambulance pulls up to the chopper with a very badly wounded young soldier inside. We happened to have on board this mission a visiting Air Force Flight Surgeon. He and the medic quickly start working on the wounded man, whose head wound is clearly serious. Within minutes, the doctor's performing CPR and the medic is trying to clear breathing tubes, which have filled with blood. This soldier is barely alive.
Under normal circumstances, the team would have flown to the 28 CSH Hospital in Baghdad, where there's a state-of-the-art medical facility for U.S. troops. But a Chinook filled with wounded had run out of fuel while landing there just moments before, leaving the landing pad unable to take any new helicopters until the crippled chopper was moved.
The soldier is dying. The flight commander, Capt. James Hannam, calls a surgical team at a field station near his airbase and decides to drop him there. As the medical team pulls the wounded soldier out of our chopper, his pulse stops, but he continues to breathe somewhat on his own.
We still don't know if he made it.
In a long, hard war, we're going to have tragic days, as this is. But they're necessary. They're part of a war that's difficult and complicated.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.