15 October 2011

Fighting for a Life; Fighting to Bring Home Every Body He Could

From War on Terror News, based on what SSG Brian Cowdrey recently shared with him:

Fighting for a Life; Fighting to Bring Home Every Body He Could

Hands and Feet inside

It was January 19, 2010. Operation Mostarak would begin in less than a month, with the mission of US Marines moving into the Taliban infested Helmand Province, and particularly Marjah. Marine Commanders didn't promise to bring everyone home, but forthrightly told their Marines, there would be fatalities. It wouldn't be an easy walk in the park, but a bold strike into the Heart of Taliban held poppy territory. It wasn't a secret operation. The American Military boldly told the world the Marines were coming, allowing the civilians to leave the battlefield until the area was secure. The move dared the Taliban to fight.

82nd Combat Aviation Brigade (Airborne) ran Aviation Operations in Regional Command-South as well as parts of RC-West, including the area to be called FOB Pasab, but then known as Patrol Base Wilson, under the command of our Canadian Allies.It was shift change, around 5pm local, and the DustOff crews knew they'd soon be needed. They were ready. They had finished their brief and were conducting pre-operation flight checks when the call came. And more than one crew would be needed. There were multiple casaulties and the 1st bird up would not be the last bird out. SSG Brian Cowdrey was the first of his unit on the ground, and he has shared the experiences of his job, of his passion, with me.

He doesn't do it for fame or glory, but to tell the story of the modern MedEvac, the things Our Dustoff crews do on a regular basis. He wants American Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, and Fathers to know: Our Medics will do everything in their power to bring home Our Troops, in the very best condition they can. Our Medics will risk everything, to complete that mission.

On that day, the call came in for 5 Urgent patients, more than a single bird could handle, more than a single medic could treat, and two birds left. On the way, they passed an OH-58, carrying one of the 5 patients in the co-pilot's seat back to the hospital for treatment. Four more wounded were on the scene, at the Point of Injury (POI) and SSG Cowdrey readied himself for what he would see on the ground given the Mechanisms of Injury (MoI).

As the first on scene, it was his job to assess the priority of evacuation. As he left the bird, he saw his potential cover, a ditch, which he'd have to cross to get to his patients. If the enemy attacked, this is where he could take his patients until he could get them out. It was all he had. There were a couple of plowed poppy fields and a road, nothing else of consequence, close enough to them and far enough from the bad guys....

GO read the rest of this here.

Always remember. ALWAYS honour.

[Bratnote: SSG Brian Cowdrey was killed yesterday in Afghanistan. The link on his name - above - leads to the Notice. My friend Brian had just started sharing his stories with WOTN, because he thought it was important that the world knows what our MedEvacs, our Dustoff Medics, do. Every.single.day. I agree..]

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