Monday, August 8, 2011

Medic sees changes in Helmand

A Military Operations news article

8 Aug 11

Busier with Marines' stubbed toes than bullet wounds on her latest Helmand tour, medic Major Jennie Johnston is now giving health advice to local Afghans. Report by Ian Carr.

Sergeant Tony Bewick and Sergeant Wayne Harrison don't let the Afghan sun stand in the way of hard training
[Picture: LA(Phot) Andy Laidlaw, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

It's been a traumatic start to the day for Major Johnston, the medic in charge of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shawqat's hospital. Literally.

At dawn she was called from her bunk in the hospital's welfare area to attend to an Afghan policeman who had just done his best to split his skull open by falling from the back of a speeding police pick-up truck.

It's serious, but the soldier is lucky that treatment is so close to hand.

Trauma is something the Major doesn't see so much of these days:

"We've had a couple of road traffic accidents. Two weeks ago I treated an Afghan policeman who had a gunshot wound, and before that an Afghan soldier who'd fallen off a sangar," she said.

This is the Major's second tour. Her last, two years ago, was dramatically different:

"HERRICK 10 was very challenging, with multiple trauma incidents. When I finished that tour I was a little despondent. I found myself wondering if the sacrifices I'd seen were paying off. Would things turn out for the better? I was unsure about how I'd feel about coming back."...

Much more here.. Go read!

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