The Corpsman No One Was Sure About

Viet Nam 1970 with Golf Co. 2nd.Bn. 5th.Mar. Reg. , there was a Corpsman in 2nd. Platoon that everyone noticed because he didn’t seem to fit in. He wore glasses and seem too gentle, quite, and easy going and he always seem to have his bible at hand. We had been on Liberty Bridge for what seem like a long time and, I guess, Cpt. Darling realized that something didn’t seem right. He sent a squad from 2nd. platoon to check the river side along the north bank. The Corpsman in question was assign to go a long. They had been gone for just a few minutes, when we witness a large explosion. The squad that went out to help them learned that the rover had come a cross an ammo can setting in the middle of a clearing. Someone thought it would be a good plan of action to shot a round through it in order to demand that it was safe to move it or bring it back to base (must of been a “boot” or a f–ken new guy). So, when nothing happen, the rover approached the can and “picked it up”—a lesson learned a second too late. The 105 round took out the whole team. When the second squad got there they saw the Corpsman ( no one was sure about) moving from man to man and applying first aid. He would stop a few seconds and say a prayer for the Marine before working on him. The squad leader share with us that this Corpsman had a head wound down to his skull and a terrible wound in his groin. He would react to his injuries—the pain—as he moved from one to the other. However, he used the morphine he had on the injured Marines instead of helping himself . Once everyone was on a chopper heading to the hospital ship, the men started picking up the gear that had been left behind; they found the Corpsman’s bible laying on the ground and decided to try to send it home with him. Every grunt in my platoon felt that he earned the M.O.H. and said so. The C.O. informed us later that the Corpsman received the Navy Cross and that he would survive his injuries as well as many of the Marines that he worked on. I always guess that he didn’t need to show us how brave he was until it meant something—-and he did. I have shared this story before and told it in different ways but have always felt that some things are worth remembering and repeating. Thanks for letting me share this yet again. Semper Fi Corpsman (who ever you were)
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