Medevacs & Medics, Angels of Mercy
By Ed Marek, editor
March 17, 2012
“Doc, let’s go!” And she went
The gunner yelled that a vehicle to the rear had been hit by an IED. Staff Sgt. Jose Santos, yelled, "Doc, let's go!" And out the door she went. Spc. Monica Brown, 19, a medic, "The Doc," jumped out of the vehicle with Santos and ran to the stricken vehicle, under heavy fire. That's only the beginning of her heroism. Nothing was more important to her than her wounded colleagues, her patients. She responded as trained. When it was over, she worried whether she did everything right. Well, she saved two soldiers, received the Silver Star, only the second woman since WWII, and has the thanks of a grateful nation. Damn it, ya gotta be proud.
C/4-73rd Cavalry had been on its patrol of the Jani Khail district of Afghanistan's Pakitka Province for several days, and it was April 25, 2007. Suddenly, the convoy came under heavy enemy attack. The gunner yelled that a vehicle to the rear had been hit by an IED. The gunner started unloading his fire on the enemy. The platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Jose Santos, yelled, "Doc, let's go!" And out the door she went.
Spc. Monica Brown, 19, a medic, "The Doc," jumped out of the vehicle with Santos and ran to the stricken vehicle, under heavy fire. Everyone was out of the burning vehicle, but she spotted two seriously injured troopers. Two others in the vehicle, Sgt. Tellier and Spc. Bodani, helped Brown move the injured soldiers away from the burning vehicle into a dry creek bed. Bodani said Brown had enemy fire zinging all around her, just missing. Brown started working on the soldiers nonetheless. Another vehicle shot over and tried to block the incoming fire, but then mortar fire started, some of it landing less than 100 yards away. When the mortar shells landed, she threw her body over her patients to protect them. A battle was now raging furiously, but Brown stuck with her patients. Now the stricken vehicle began exploding, and she again threw herself over her patients. Santos grabbed another vehicle, got it to Brown, Brown uploaded her patients, and they moved to a safe location awaiting medevac. Brown then started directing other combat-life-saver medics to help while she worked with the IV bags and prepared her patients for a helo ride out. When enemy fire seemed to come close, yet again she used her body to shield her patients. This all went on for about two hours.
When it was over, she could only ask herself, "Did I do everything right?" The answer is yes. She admits she responded just as she was trained, she is reminded of the word "robot," spontaneously, one, two, three, right down the list. Both her patients survived. She received the Silver Star for gallantry on March 20, 2008, presented by Vice President Cheney at Bagram Field, Afghanistan. She is only the second woman to receive it since WWII.
As the father of two daughters, please excuse me if my spine shivers a bit. Americans like this are why we win, and the enemy loses.
Damn it, ya gotta be proud.
America lost a hero today - "Just a farm boy from Utah" - George E. Wahlen