In the darkness, the SOF medic can’t see because the flashing strobe has taken his night adapted eyesight away. He blindly feels slowly and methodically along the body for the exit wound behind the back. Then he feels it, the warm blood from the bullet wound touches his fingers and heightens his senses, a little gush with every heart beat pushes blood out of the gaping hole.

The gunfight in the background has been muted as far as he’s concerned, He’s only committed to saving the life of his teammate right now. He can feel the warm spit hit his face in the darkness as someone yells “Ten mikes to extract!” He slowly nods his head and feels for a pulse. He gets a steady thump (pause), thump (pause), thump; not quite as fast and weak as it was in the beginning; his friend has stabilized for now,

Another life saved, he thinks to himself.

The medic tries to push out the thoughts and images of so many friends lost last deployment to IEDs, He sharpens his mind’s eye and feels a sense of relief and accomplishment knowing he has saved another life.

Suddenly, the bright lights come on! He looks down to see his friend lying on the floor, only he’s looking at a gun shot goat.

When Killing Animals Saves Lives

The word is out that the US Military engages in ‘live tissue training.’ For those of you out there that think we’re revealing some classified material here, just spend a little time around the internet and you’ll find that Fox has reported on it as well as Stars and Stripes, the LA Times, and many other news sources. If the super sleuths at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) can figure it out, it can’t be that hard.

Former students at 18 Delta Special Forces Combat Medical School might reference it as ‘Goat Lab’, but let’s not forget the brave goats, pigs and cats (they simulate infants) that have also sacrificed their lives so that others may live. The practice of using animals as training aids for combat medics and forward operators (among others) has spurred intense controversy and legislation that is pending on the further ability to use animals as ‘patients.’

I’m an animal lover, I always have been. When I was asked as a little kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always the same: a veterinarian. All animals, too, even cats (for all you cat haters out there). I always appreciated how cats, even after being separated from their mother at birth, still have a natural instinct to hunt and kill. I like animals more than most people, really, and would much rather hunt people than some rare sheep high in the mountains of a former Soviet republic. It’s more sporting. People can shoot back.