Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Docs celebrate 110th Birthday in Iraq



AL-ASAD, Iraq (June 17, 2008) – Navy corpsmen served alongside Marines storming beaches, tucked in trenches, raiding houses, and raising an American flag on Mt. Suribachi. Their eyes see a grueling side of war and their skillful hands provide critical interventions that save lives.

Today marks the 110th anniversary of the Navy Hospital Corps, a day to reflect on noteworthy accomplishments of the medical personnel both home and abroad.

“The Navy Hospital Corps’ birthday is special to me in a number of ways,” said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Rodrick Jones, a corpsman with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4, Marine Central Command (Forward). “The Hospital Corps’ history is incredible and being here in Iraq and doing what we are supposed to do makes this day great.”

Corpsmen have contributed during peacetime emergencies and conflicts dating back to the early 1900s.

“Any place Marines go, beside them you will find a Navy corpsman: into battle, a night on the town or just hanging out at the barracks,” explained Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Dustman, a corpsman with Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd MAW (Fwd.). “With us beside them, they know they have someone at their back to take care of them no matter what. And in return, they take care of us.”

According to http://www.corpsman.com. these heroes have earned 22 Medals of Honor, 174 Navy Crosses, 946 Silver Stars, 1,582 Bronze Stars and 31 Army Distinguished Service Medals.

“Some of the best Marines I have ever served with, have been Navy corpsmen,” said Sgt. Maj. David Devaney, the sergeant major for Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4, Marine Central Command (Fwd.).

In some cases, such as the Battle of Iwo Jima, the corpsmen casualty percentage tallied more than that of the Marines in their care. Nonetheless, they continued to answer the call of “Corpsman up!” According to www.hotym.org/ymnavy.html, During World War II, 97 out of every 100 wounded men recovered due to corpsmen involvement.

“Whether I’m performing basic sick call or ensuring the daily health of the Marines, I like being there for them when I’m needed,” said Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Locke, a corpsman with Marine Air Control Group 38, 3rd MAW (Fwd.). “Simply being called ‘Doc’ really gives me a sense of pride.”

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