The Catholic Defender: Revisiting Grafenwoehr Once Again In Spirit
April 18, 2020
During one of our field operations, we were on a 30 day rotation at Grafenwoehr where we were supporting live fire ranges. I had my entire fleet of track vehicles located at different ranges and I was at range 301, a helicopter range. We stayed there for a week rotation. While I were there, I maintained communication with the tower who ensured that safety procedures were being followed.
One day, a Captain ran towards 78 the back of the track looking for a medic. I was sitting in the track studying some material and responded to the cry for help. I grabbed my trusty old M-5 Aid Bag and ran to the scene.
A German National who worked for the Government, had collapsed in the shed with chest pain. He could not understand English and I could not understand German. I asked a series of questions through an interpreter. I first wanted to know how long he had chest pain. I was asking this as I was checking his blood pressure and pulse. He said that he had been working when he developed severe chest pain.
I observed that his blood pressure was very high and that his pulse was racing. I asked him if he had been seen by a doctor before for chest pain. He responded “no”. I asked if he had ever had chest pain before and he replied, “yes” when he would be working. He said that he never felt he needed a doctor before as the pain would subside with rest.
I asked him how long he had had these kinds of episodes and he responded “two years”. I then believed this man was suffering from unstable angina pectoris. Based on my evaluation and from his responses, I believed that he had been dealing with angina pectoris but never been diagnosed. I believed that he was about to have a major heart attack and so I strongly encouraged him to go to the hospital.
He didn’t want to go, but I pleaded with the interpreter to tell him it is necessary that he goes to the hospital. After a couple of minutes, he was taken to the hospital. When he arrived at the emergency room, he developed a full blown heart attack. I was later informed he would not have survived if he had not been right where he was. I saved his life simply by knowing the vital signs and some practical information.
The next day, I had a four star General (General Saint) land at our site by helicopter to congratulate me on saving a life. About two hours later, a two star General (Major General Krawciw) landed by helicopter and awarded me the impact Arcom Award.
As the General was flying away from our site, I radioed my troops of what had just transpired. One of my soldiers was in the back of his track standing up with the back opened displaying total disbelief. As he looked up, the General was hovering above their track and gave a smile and a salute to my soldier who stared in great disbelief and awe.
It wasn’t long after that the Command heard our chatter over the radio and was wanting to know what happened. It was my great day of fame. This was too awesome! I would have another one star General visit my site.
I had Colonels, Majors, Captains wanting to take a picture with me next to our track. This was an amazing thing. I was even told that they considered putting my picture on Grafenwoehr because this was great press fostering good will between the American and German 80 peoples. I was greatly honored for doing something so simple. My job!
One day I came in the Company area finding the First Sargent taking a nap when I grabbed four cravats tying his arms and legs to his cot and simply left him there sleeping. Not two minutes later our Battalion Commander comes walking into the Company area and when attention was sounded, the First Sergeant found himself tied to his cot not able to get up. To this day I can't help seeing this in my mind. We did have some humorous moments!
If Soldiers had a hard time getting up for duty, I didn't mind helping them carrying them sleeping bag and all out putting them in a trash bin, they would usually have no problem getting up after that.
Colossians 3:23-24 states, "Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ."