From two of our good friends, Kathy Kersten and Ed Morrissey, comes the extraordinary story of Joe Buhain of Rochester, Minnesota, an Army medic who is devoted to saving lives–not just our soldiers’, but the terrorists’:
What do you do if you are an Army medic and you are asked to provide medical care to an Iraqi terrorist who has just killed or maimed some of your buddies? Staff Sgt. Joe Buhain of Rochester knows the answer.
Buhain describes the aftermath of a typical fire fight: “They’d bring in the severely wounded, both coalition troops and insurgents, and we’d evaluate each one. We’d look at the wound, not the uniform, and set priorities. Generally, head injuries went straight to get CT scans, loss-of-limbs went straight to the operating room. Our guys and the insurgents all got the same drugs, MRIs, X-rays, the same time scheduled for surgery.”
Occasionally, says Buhain, for reasons of medical necessity, a wounded insurgent might occupy a bed next to the U.S. soldier he had tried to kill.
“It broke my heart when I saw an American soldier come in badly wounded,” he says. “At first, I asked, ‘Why do we have to do this, treat people who try to kill us this way?’ But the chaplain and the combat stress team helped. I came to see that, at a certain level, the insurgents were like us. They are human beings. We medical personnel had to learn to control our emotions, in order to give them the best care we could.”
U.S. soldiers took a similar attitude, Buhain adds. “The call would go out to give blood, and our guys would line up without knowing whether one of our soldiers or a terrorist would get it,” he says.
As much as anything, this is why we are going to win the war against Islamic fanaticism.