color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: April 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005


The final episode of the Vietnam War happened 30 years ago today. A reporter of a cable news show asked people to email his show and tell them what the Vietnam War meant to them… As a child of the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s, it brought up a lot of old memories.

My earliest memory of anything having to do with the Vietnam War was when my high school boyfriend’s slightly older cousin was getting ready to deploy. I remember the cousin’s mother saying that they remembered when U.S. troops had become involved there years earlier, but figured that it would all be over by the time their sons were grown. Then there were the draft years from 1969-1972. My two brothers’ (twins) number was 179. Except for the first draft, the succeeding service lotteries were held in the summers, so the news at the community pool and upon returning to school was who had enlisted to some other service branch instead of waiting for the Army’s draft notice.

Of course, the anti-war movement was just gaining momentum in those years – and living in Chicago in ’68 was a trip (a referral to an acid-induced experience rather than mass transportation). I wrote letters to a soldier in Vietnam and he wrote back. I don’t recall the content of any of those letters. My friends and I all wore POW/MIA bracelets.

I have three personal connections to the casualties of the War. One of my sisters was married to a ‘nam vet. He was one of those punk kids that wound up in front of the judge with his cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve of his t-shirt… the one the judge tells, “Juvee Hall or the Corps. Your choice.” That’s how he got there. Turns out he was a good soldier and a better leader. Then came the day he and his platoon approached a riverbank, towels and bars of soap in hand. Of the 20+ men, my brother-in-law and two others survived the NVA snipers – my BIL with a bullet in the knee. He left the active Corps after his rehab, but remained in the Reserve for many years after that. He had an exceptionally successful career in a state police force, becoming the youngest District Commander in the history of that state and leading the Governor’s security detail for many years. The knee healed, but the spirit did not. He would never swim in a body of water if he couldn’t see the bottom. He would not eat Asian food unless he cooked it. With the exception of the story of how he was injured, he refused to speak of his experience. He would not acknowledge on his clothing or his memberships that he was a VV. He became more and more emotionally withdrawn over the years, and eventually he and my sister divorced. A casualty of the war.

Next is the story of the twin brother of one of my closest high school friends. We are still friends today. They are the children of a Marine colonel that did four or five tours, shot down twice and briefly a POW. This young man was a smart, funny guy who worked really hard to always be on his father’s wrong side. He joined the Army after high school. Didn’t join the Marines so that dad’s rank couldn’t influence their service and, in large measure, to piss his dad off. In one of his letters from Vietnam, the brother told me they “loaded bombs for 8 hours, smoked dope for 8 hours, and slept 8 hours.” Said it was how they coped. His sister and I shared an apartment in early 1973 when word came that a peace agreement had been reached and the war was over (although we didn’t leave until 1975.) Since both her father and brother were there, I ran into her bedroom shaking her and yelling, “The war is over! The war is over!” Her brother eventually came home, but could neither cope nor assimilate back into society. Dependent on drugs, dealing drugs, in and out of jail for the next 25 years; last his sister knows he is living on the streets of a large western city and has no contact with his family. He was in jail when his father died. No one knows whether he knows his mother died two years ago. She died without having spoken with her child in more than 10 years and not knowing whether he was alive or dead. Another casualty of the war.

Finally, there is my dear husband who served two tours. He was a 21-year-old year old kid fresh from Arctic survival training his first tour… flying helicopters off a carrier. He was 24 his second tour. He saw a lot. Heard a lot. Did a lot. Got his butt shot at. He hauled gear in and hauled guys out of the jungle. Got some of his birds shot up and a few nearly shot out from under him. He had a real hard landing on a carrier deck and the resulting hip compression bothers him more as he gets older. The fair, blond, blue-eyed Swede got more sunburns than he can count (nobody talked about sunblocks 40 years ago!) and has had 22 cancers removed from his skin in the past 10 years. He was spit on and yelled at upon his return. The minister of his Baptist church declared him and other members of the military murderers while he worshipped with his parents. His experience in Vietnam colored his world forever. It’s what makes his worry about his son in the Box different than my worry. Not more, not less. Different.

I imagine that the soldiers of OIF I, II, and III (and IV??) will be the next generation to tell such war stories. I hope that some day there will be no war stories to tell and that there are no more casualties of war.
To all our vets, thank you for your service. You ROCK.
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Another One of Those Freaking Me Out Kind of Days

Another one of those freaking me out kind of days. The DOD press release says bombings in Baghdad… but also one of the standard little blurbs that so unnerve me:

“The previous evening, an improvised explosive device detonation near ***** killed one U.S. soldier from Task Force **** and wounded four others. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to a coalition medical facility and are in stable condition. The names of the soldiers killed and wounded are being withheld pending notification of their families.”

That’s my son’s task force. And that’s one of the towns they patrol. And I haven’t heard from him in a couple of days. So I turned the volume up the pc first thing this morning and listened for the “Moo” or one of the other special sounds programmed to his battle buds all day. None has been online since early yesterday morning U.S. time, early afternoon in Iraq. So I kept busy. My soldier’s dog has been really ill for the last two weeks but she came home this morning from the animal hospital, on some medication and has to be fed small amounts of food every few hours. Watched some baseball. Shampooed the carpets in the house. Walked the dogs to walk off some of MY nervous energy. Cruised the news channels and news sites. It’s so frustrating -- it’s not like we can call and leave a message on his cell phone or ring a roommate to check up on him… It’s waiting… and wondering… praying. Praying for my son and all the other soldiers… my heart pained that some soldiers’ parents will be getting that call or that visit. And I know tonight will be a night of tossing and turning… and cursing the clock… until he emails or calls. I’ve already figured out that it never gets easier. You worry. You always worry.

I’d like to close by thanking all the Vietnam vets for their service to our country on the 30th anniversary of the end of the war. I’ll do a separate post on that soon.
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

I'm Really Missing Him

I’m really missing my son today. I have missed him every minute he has been away from the day he left for basic. But then I knew I would see him ½ way through for Family Weekend. Again for Going Blue (graduation.) He had leave at Christmas. Then I was there for Airborne graduation. Next, I drove his car the 1,100 miles from New York to his base. Then he had leave in the summer. Then leave at Christmas. So in his first year in the Army, we got to spend time together often. It was like he was away at college. Only with weapons.

But since he deployed, it’s a deeper missing. It’s a steady ache that never goes away. I think of him all the time – calculating the time in Iraq and wondering what he’s doing at that moment. Occasionally since he deployed, my missing him has spiked from time to time, although most times I can bring myself around and regain a positive attitude. Not sure what brought this on, but I have been near tears a few times today just thinking about him. Today I just miss him SO MUCH. I miss being able to call him up and ask how he’s doing. I miss not being able to plan the next time we’ll be together. I miss not being able to sit down to dinner with him. Or having him here to say, “What’s for dinner, Ma?” I miss telling him to drive safe and be home by a certain time. I miss his, “Yeah, ok.” I miss him striking a Mr. Universe pose when I catch him wrapped in a towel fresh from the shower and raiding the fridge. I miss sitting watching baseball with him. I miss being able to hug him. I miss being able to tell him, “I love you, son” whenever the urge comes over me. I miss his smile. I really miss his laugh. Really miss that laugh...

If you have a child in your home, please call out right now, “I love you!” Better yet, get up and give each of them a hug. Give them one for me.
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

R&R, Sen. Kennedy, and Jane Fonda

Our son was to come home shortly on R&R (leave), but he emailed today that he won't R&R until later in the summer… Seems the wife of one of his battle buddies (one of "my guys") has filed for divorce and our son switched out his leave so that M. could go home and see what could be done. That young woman and their 11-month-old son are his world... I know he must be distraught. I sure wish I knew where her head was and the reason for the cruelty of the timing. My son will miss his brother's college graduation and his sister's wedding... and I know he really wanted to escort our friends' daughter to her Senior Prom to fulfill a promise they made the day he left for basic training. N. and my son have known each other since she was in first grade and he in third. He considers her his little sister and has always been her protector. (Don't worry, ladies, he’s not standing her up -- she has a date; if our son could make it, he was going to be her second escort.) Although we are greatly disappointed that we will have to wait to see him (as are his many friends), once we knew the circumstances no one in the family batted an eye because we all know and accept how close "the guys" are and how important this is -- if one has a problem and another can help, they do. That's just the way it is. It’s what brothers do.

Ted (the Senator, not the airline)
When I was in grammar school, JFK was assassinated. When I was in high school, RFK was murdered. MLK, too. All that was left of the Camelot family was Ted. Like many others, I equated the living Kennedys with the legend -- the myth -- of Jack and Bobby. Then there was "that incident" with the girl, the car and the river... Over the years, as his agenda slid more and more to the left (and I skidded more to the center and landed somewhat to the right), my opinion of Ted plummeted. I have had little use for Ted Kennedy for many years and often times find myself saying, "Oh, shut up, Ted" to my television.

Today, I would like to sincerely thank Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) and Sen. Bayh (D-IN) for sponsoring an amendment to the war finance bill that will provide somewhere between $185 million (the House) and $213 million (Senate) in additional funds to buy more fully armored Humvees for our forces in Iraq. (Mind you, the White House originally sought $743 million for the Humvees --- but every little bit helps.) Thank you, Ted and Evan (and the 58 other Senators who voted for the amendment) for helping to protect our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, friends and lovers. And while the funding for the war on terrorism passed the Senate 90-0, SHAME! SHAME! on the 10 Senators who abstained or missed the vote and especially on the 40 Senators that voted against the Humvee amendment -- I'm certain none of them have skin in the game.

Her Hanoi-ness
Jane Fonda is making the rounds these days with interviews and plugging her book... still not showing any contrition for her treasonous actions during the Vietnam War... only lamenting that she now understands how the image of her visit to the United States' then-enemy might have upset people. Ya think?? Wonder what people who support Jane would have said if an American had gone to hob-knob with Hitler, sit on an AA gun used to shoot down Allied planes and betray American POWs during WWII? You won't find this household buying her book or videos or putting money in her pocket by attending her upcoming movie, either. It has been many years, but my husband still cringes at her actions and recounts how shocked and appalled they all were when they heard of it -- they were incredulous, angered and deeply hurt. She hasn't yet earned forgiveness. Appearances being everything, it appears Jane is offering her statements in conjunction with the release of her book -- free press, more sales. It was all about Jane then, and it's still all about Jane now.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

My Blog Got an MSNBC Mention

OMG my blog got a mention on MSNBC!

Audio and video here (thanks, Ian!)

and the text of the MSNBC piece by David Weinberger of JoHo


6:30PM: Oh, and while I didn't get to IM with my son today, the "blackout" has been broken as I had an IM from V -- his best buddy there -- and they are all fine, just working a lot with the increase in AIF activity...
9:30PM And now we know the reason for the blackout:
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died April 19 in Baghdad, Iraq, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near their dismounted patrol. Both Soldiers were assigned 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, and Fort Stewart, Ga.
The soldiers are:
Spc. Jacob M. Pfister, 27, of Buffalo, N.Y.
Pfc. Kevin S. K. Wessel, 20, of Newport, Ore.
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved!


In "chatting" with some other military parents and spouses in my son's division, it appears that there is one of the (luckily few) blackouts -- no phone calls, emails, etc. from our soldiers... I'm learning that these blackouts can occur for a number of reasons. For instance, if one or more soldiers are seriously injured or killed in action... and the event is reported identifying the FOB affected or the unit affected. The powers that be have determined (rightfully) that if the other soldiers from the affected units are allowed to communicate with those back home before the families of the injured soldiers have been officially notified, those families will actually get a kind of informal notification based on the LACK of contact with their soldiers. I'm led to believe this is the current case but I hope not. I can't find info of any major action in the units AO (area of operations...)
I also understand that if there has been a breach of OpSec (Operational Security) via telephones, email, etc. communications priviledges are restricted to remind soldiers that loose lips sink ships...
On the other hand, I also know these blackouts occur for other reasons: they can all get really busy and stay busy for long periods of time... and sometimes, the comm lines are down... broken.
I wish it was always that the comm lines were down. Hoping we all her from our guys soon...
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

My Soldier Called!

He remembered my birthday!! It was 6:30 in the morning here... he couldn't stay on long as he was going on a mission (damn... but that's what he does... he's a soldier) but 1SG (First Sarge) said there was nothing more important than calling your Momma on her birthday (they're both good sons!) Made my day!!
[and of course a few hours later, got this in a DOD press release "U.S. Army soldiers patrolling B*** encountered insurgents who detonated an IED and unleashed small-arms fire. The Americans returned fire and wounded one attacker. The injured insurgent was taken to a coalition base for medical treatment. No U.S. soldiers were wounded in the attack." The important part being NO U.S. SOLDIERS WERE WOUNDED...]
And there was a dozen roses on my vanity from my husband (he says they're from the dogs and cats LOL) and there's a big box on the kitchen counter... and coffee and bagels were waiting when I rose... and my little stereo speaker called...
At my request, I will spend this day planting flower seeds... watch some baseball, and tonight friends will join us as we dine at one of the local casinos so I can drink and gamble a little!
I love birthdays... just wish I didn't have to get older to enjoy them!
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


I've seen a lot of stories in the news recently about whole units in Iraq re-enlisting together. My initial reaction is usually, "Wow! Isn't that great?!" Until I got a brief note from my 20 year old saying that he was thinking of re-upping while he's in the Box. He said that they are offering a big bonus (tax free if you sign in a war zone) to sign up for an additional three years and they'll forgive the 2-1/2 years he owes on his initial contract AND give him a shot at Rangers. Sounds a little too generous to be true... We know of forgiveness of previous extensions of service contracts, but have never heard of it on original service terms. We'll probably will call Sgt. C (our son's original recruiter) and talk with him.
There's a part of me that wants him to get out and get on with his life away from the Army. When his original contract is up, his friends will be graduating from college and be out in the work world or pursuing advanced degrees. I want him to have the same college experiences while he's young enough to really enjoy them -- and in my mind, the fun you have at 20 and 24 is infinitely different that the same experience at 28... On the other hand, the whole college experience has got to be surreal after you've spent four years in the Army and more than a year in Iraq.
In the alternative, there's a part that would like him to get out, do college and if he's still interested in serving, go back in as an officer. After all, the Army will still be there when he's done with school. Of course, there is a HUGE part of me that wants to be sure he doesn't have to do another deployment... to Iraq, or Afghanistan or Kosovo. They can station him just about any place else, but once is enough for me if they want to send him some place where someone's actively shooting at him. And if he does do Rangers, it's a deployment to some trouble spot (there seems to be no lack of them, huh?) multiple times a year...
Of course, I know he'll make this decision on his own, although I know he'll call and talk to his brothers about it, he'll probably call Sgt. C, and for sure he'll talk to his battle buds. The best I could do was to tell him to be sure to get it in writing and to let his Dad or me look at it before he signs. I also suggested that if he was intent on re-signing, he might want to hold out a few more months (since he's got more than a year left on his deployment) to see if they'll tweak the bonus given that the Army isn't making its quotas and probably won't for the next few months.
I reminded him that even extending six months will probably guarantee another trip to the Box which could mean getting stop-lossed which could add up to a year to that service commitment. THAT got him quiet for a few minutes...
One more thing to roll around in my head to keep sleep from coming at night (sigh). If my hair wasn't already totally grey, it would be a few more grey hairs!
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

In the News

From the Associated Press (as reported by “Iraqis are increasingly calling on U.S. forces to leave their troubled nation…” According to the story, thousands of protesters (largely followers of the self-proclaimed cleric Moody al-Sadr) held anti-American protests calling for U.S. troops to leave.
MY RESPONSE (as a military Mom): “FINE BY ME.” Bring our guys home. The sooner the better. I’m pretty sure there aren’t a lot of service members who prefer Iraq to home. Yes, of course, I know we have obligations there… and I know that their guys have to be more cohesive and need a little seasoning… and I know that there were almost as many “Americans should stay” protesters protesting the protesters (bet you didn't see that on the news!) But still, I can hope can’t I? And to those Iraqis calling for us to leave, a cautionary warning: “Careful what you wish for!”

From a Washington Post article (By Shailagh Murray): “The Senate voted yesterday to expand veterans benefits… although a battle over unrelated immigration issues is threatening to delay final passage of the legislation for days. But even some of Bush's fiercest Democratic critics on Iraq said the most urgent concern is retooling veterans’ benefits to update health and death policies and to take into account the disruptions caused by extended duties of many service members. 'Right now our concerns are taking care of the veterans,' said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)."
MY RESPONSE: (1) About time they passed additional spending for veterans, (2) They better not delay passage with debate about ILLEGAL activities, and (3) So what do you figure Boxer really wants?

From the same story: “Two [amendments] from Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) would allow families to stay in military housing for a full year after the death of a spouse, and enable all military dependents to receive $500,000 in total death benefits when a member of the armed forces dies on active duty.”
MY RESPONSE: So, do you think Kerry finally gets it?

And: “Kerry, who sharply criticized Bush's handling of the Iraq war throughout his presidential campaign, cited the Iraq election as a turning point for many senators because it marked a shift… toward Iraqis taking charge of their own affairs. ‘Time and circumstances have changed the situation,’ Kerry said. ‘There's a movement. Most of us feel there's more of a plan.’"
MY RESPONSE: John, the plan was to search for WMD, get rid of Saddam and let the Iraqis govern themselves. W told you so… Guess you heard him now?

Still more from the same story: “The House opened the door to revising immigration policy last month by attaching tougher rules for states in issuing driver’s [sic] licenses to illegal immigrants to its version of the spending bill. The sudden focus on immigration underscores the mounting pressure lawmakers face to address the swelling illegal workforce, a mainstay of numerous industries but a serious voter concern.”
MY RESPONSE: (1) You’re kidding, right? What part of ILLEGAL don’t they understand? Forget the tougher standards – anyone who is here illegally should not be able to get a driver’s license at all. (2) Let’s see. The voters (that would be “we, the people”?) are fed up with illegal immigration, but the Congress is feeling pressure from industries supporting such illegal activity? Hmmm. Sounds like politics as usual to me.

Still more, “One amendment, offered by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), addresses complaints from Chesapeake Bay seafood companies about a shortage of oyster shuckers and crab pickers, created because the ceiling on temporary visas for those workers was reached in January.”
MY RESPONSE: If the number of temporary workers some industry required was underestimated, fix the quota, don’t perform wholesale policy changes. And don’t try to shove unwanted and unnecessary changes at us or up us by tacking it on to a VETERAN’S BENEFITS bill and threaten to hold up the legislation! Yes, illegal immigration is a problem – and not just in economic terms, but in terms of our national security. Congress needs to do more than push numbers around and try to legalize via an amnesty to those who broke the law. The Congress needs to allocate sufficient funds and manpower to protect our borders and enforce the laws we already have in place. If someone from another country wants to come here to work, they should do so LEGALLY. Anyone here illegally should be deported. If you are here illegally, and you have children while you’re here, those children should not be entitled to American citizenship and should not be entitled to stay because they procreated while here. Finally, if you commit a crime while you’re here, you should be subject to the same penalties as American citizens – including the death penalty. If you don't like it, leave.

The End.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Living and Dying

There has been a lot in the news recently about people living and dying. And about who gets to decide who dies, how they die, when they die. Terri Schiavo. The Pope. Karim Hassan. So how are all of these related? The right to die and the right to live.

I have a very strong opinion on euthanasia. I believe that if a person in a state of mental competency has indicated that they do not wish to have extraordinary means taken to prolong their life, then those wishes should be honored. And if a person has not indicated such a wish or has declared specifically that this is not their wish, then we must presume that their intention is to live or prolong life by whatever means available.

I get riled when I hear all these breast-beaters declaring that Terri Schiavo was starved and dehydrated to death. Her mental capacity did not permit her to feel hunger or thirst. Her brain did not function on that level any more. To ensure that she did not suffer, she was administered morphine throughout her ordeal. People who cry that it surely was murder base their beliefs on the fact that THEY would not want to die under such circumstances and so assumed that Terri Schiavo would not either. They contorted their beliefs into a mistrust of Michael Schiavo’s motives. But it was not his testimony alone as to Terri’s wishes. A half dozen of her friends also testified that she had made her wishes known to them. 28 state and federal courts -- TWENTY‑EIGHT -- reviewed the law, the testimony and the legality – and every single one of the 28 courts ruled that Terri Schiavo did not wish to live in a persistent vegetative state and did not want medical intervention to prolong her life in such state. She would have died long ago were it not for the extraordinary measures of the feeding tube. She decided how she wanted to live and under what conditions. Her husband was simply left to ensure her wishes were followed. As will mine if the time comes that such a decision need be made. And I won't be Terry Schiavo or a Christopher Reeves.

And, as every news station ad nauseum has told us, the Pope is dead. I am certain that had the Pope asked to be taken to the hospital, and had it been his wish, they could have kept him alive by artificial means for a very long time. Instead, he chose to die at the time the Lord decreed and without extraordinary life-sustaining measures. The Pope decided under what conditions he wanted to live and under what conditions he wanted to die. And his wishes were honored.

As for Karim Hassan, he was a suspected Iraqi terrorist shot and gravely wounded in a gun battle with Army soldiers in May 2004. The medic on the scene, upon seeing the horrific and probably fatal wounds, declared to his commanding officer Captain Maynulet, “There’s nothing I can do.” Believing in his heart that the Iraqi was suffering and about to endure a painful death, Capt. Maynulet drew his weapon and shot Karim Hassan in the head, killing him. The captain was court-martialed last week and found guilty of assault with the intent to commit voluntary manslaughter. Capt. Maynulet was given a dishonorable discharge (dismissal) but will not serve prison time. There are two automatic appeals in such cases and there is still a chance that the conviction or the sentence may be reversed.

I have seen many defend the captain’s actions saying that we should support our military and the decisions they make on the battlefield. I whole-heartedly concur -- when the soldier is in the right, when the soldier believes he/she is in imminent danger, when his/her life is threatened, when it is a decision made in the heat of the battle. And while I know that this fine career soldier truly believed this “mercy killing” was justified, in my opinion, he was wrong. I’m not sure that the punishment isn’t too severe, but I believe what he did was indefensible. He not only doesn’t get to decide who lives or dies in such a circumstance, but he was prohibited from doing so.

When the captain shot the prisoner, he was not in imminent danger and was not under fire or threat from this combatant. At the time of the incident, Capt. Maynulet was in command of his unit and was charged with the safety of enemy prisoners of war (EPW) which Karim Hassan clearly was. Enemy combatant? Yes, absolutely, right up until the time he was wounded and came into the custody of US troops. Then the Rules of Engagement (ROE) and the Geneva Convention are clear:

THE LAW OF LAND WARFARE, Chapter 4, Section II (Wounded and Sick), 215. Protection and Care states, in pertinent part:

“Members of the armed forces and other persons mentioned in the following Article, who are wounded or sick, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances. They shall be treated humanely and cared for by the Party to the conflict in whose power they may be, without any adverse distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion, political opinions, or any other similar criteria. Any attempts upon their lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited; in particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated, subjected to torture or to biological experiments; they shall not willfully be left without medical assistance and care…”

All soldiers carry a ROE card that states what they are allowed to do with regard to the use of force. Soldiers are also briefed and schooled on the ROE and are expected to know them. This was not a newbie private. This was a captain in the United States Army… well-trained, well-schooled with more than 10 years of experience in the Army.

Capt. Maynulet believes his decision was moral, if not legal. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get to make that distinction. The captain admitted during his court martial that he had “projected himself” into the situation of the Iraqi and knew that he (the captain) would not want to live with such grievous injuries, so he ended the Iraqi’s suffering by ending his life. Unlike the Schiavo case, the prisoner did not ask to have his life or his suffering ended. That the prisoner would likely have died anyway is of no consequence in the argument. Capt. Maynulet could not have known that with any degree of medical certainty, and the medic on the scene while trained to treat battlefield injuries, was not trained to make such evaluations. Capt. Maynulet did not order the medic to treat the injured combatant; did not call for an evacuation; did not call a superior officer or medical superior for guidance. All the things his training required him to do. He did the one thing he was prohibited from doing.
As I said, absent a clear directive one way or the other, no one else should have the right to decide when someone critically ill or injured is going to die.
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.