Everyone knows it sucks to be the medic. Especially the medics themselves. You have to carry more shit, go to a bunch more schools, be kinda smart, and then, when the shit hits the fan, you’re dragging dudes behind cover instead of dealing death. For years, in the combat medicine world, it has been SOP for the unfortunate soul designated primary medic to mutter under his breath, “Yeah… I’m really more of a shooter, guys.” Then they tell you to shut the fuck up and carry the SKEDCO. 

Ask any SF medic or PJ, and they will tell you that it can be difficult coping with the death that comes with the job. It’s something that is always around you. It is much harder to save a life than take one.  The medic battles the reaper daily, and you want to win every time, but you will not. Sometimes, you can’t save everyone.

Which brings us to this Stars and Stripes article by Laura Rach.  Rach was embedded with the famed 212th Rescue Squadron. The 212th has been well known as an Alaskan National Guard unit who, when not saving lost villagers and plucking injured hikers off Denali, conduct Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) and medevac in the mountains of Afghanistan. Not to mention inspire an entire Italian clothing company to design clothes based upon your mission.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

During the height of the fighting season last summer, a pararescue team came under fire as they pulled two Marines severely wounded in a rocket-propelled grenade attack.

One Marine was covered in shrapnel wounds, the other gravely wounded and without vital signs. As the PJs worked to push the life back into his bloody and torn body, his buddy lay nearby, crying for him and calling for the Marines they left behind.

Not long after they landed at the hospital at Camp Bastion, three PJs gathered outside the emergency entrance. As they turned to leave, a British soldier wheeled a gurney quietly behind them. It was draped with an American flag.

In a few hours, somewhere in the states, a young wife with a newborn son would learn her husband died in a war that they — and many other soldiers and Marines — fear too few care about.

“I don’t want to forget them because I think that’s part of honoring them,” Pararescueman and Senior Airman Caleb Kiley said.

Read the whole thing right here. Shout out to my boy Papa Bear and PG.