Editor’s note:  For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Bob Adams is something of a legend in the Special Operations community.  A graduate of the Naval Academy and then BUDs and becoming a Navy SEAL.  Then, off to medical school to become a physician as a civilian again.  We’re not done yet.  Then Bob joined the Army as a doctor and became the Delta Force Command Surgeon.  He retired as a Colonel in the Army.  This means he was an officer in both the Army and the Navy. Imagine what the uniform looked like for a moment.  Army BDUs with a Colonel’s rank on one collar and the Medical Corps device on the other.  82nd Airborne patch on the Left shoulder, Navy SEAL Trident on the left breast below Army Flight Surgeon Wings.

What follows are excerpts of Bob’s book, “Swords and Saints” 

“He was alive with multiple gunshot wounds, a right arm partial amputation…”

I slept in the on-call room dressed in my dirty uniform and covered with a light blanket to keep the sandflies from munching on me all night.  It was 2 AM.

“Sir, there’s a call for you from headquarters about a casualty coming in,” stated the wide-awake medic.  I shook the cobwebs away and moved to the one clinic field phone.

“Doctor Adams. This is not a secure line,” I answered.

The news was disconcerting.  Because of rare rain in the desert, helicopters were grounded.  An Iraqi combatant had tried to drive his bomb-loaded truck past the Division headquarters gate two hours away.  American bullets riddled him and his truck, but the truck did not detonate.  He was alive with multiple gunshot wounds, a right arm partial amputation with a tourniquet in place, and was coming to our location by ground ambulance.
We were not a surgery center.  That was located a long three hours away by ambulance.  Our job was to do an ambulance transfer.  We would need to stabilize him for the follow-on trip.  The ambulance bringing him to us would return to headquarters following regulations that did not allow it to make the more extended trip. I called for one other doctor and two medics from our barracks a mile away.  What arrived were all three animated doctors and more medics.  The headquarters ambulance arrived forty-five minutes later in a light drizzle.

“Bring him here please,” directed Doctor Conlan, who now oversaw triage.  The medics carried the stretcher to our mobile stand in the Immediate room and placed the stretcher down.  The patient moaned.
“He has a ninety percent right arm partial amputation with a tourniquet in place and holding,” Mary began for all to hear.

“There are three bullet wounds in the chest and abdomen, and only one exit wound in the back near the right buttocks,” she continued as the exam progressed.