Sam’s Medical Status: I spoke to Julie late last night. She said it was a good day for Sam. Erin noticed three tears coming from Sam’s eyes—she also said his eye lids kept moving through most of the day. Today, August 12th, is Sam’s birthday—He turns 23. Julie said she got him a cake and is going to share it with the staff at the hospital along with Sam’s mother Kelley and his brother Donny. I know we all can’t be there with Sam on this special day, but I know you are all there in spirit and I know he feels our prayers.
I received a very heart warming email yesterday! It was from James “Doc” Hansen. Doc Hansen is a Navy Corpsman assigned to Kilo Battery (Sam’s squad). For those of you who don’t know, a Navy Corpsman (similar to an Army medic) is assigned to a Marine battery and travels with the Marines as they go into battle. The Corpsman is their first level of response for any type of medical emergency (small or large) and they are “respectfully” known to the platoon or battery as “Doc”.
I wanted to share with you portions of Doc Hansen’s email:
“My Name is James Hansen. Sgt. Nichols knows me as “Doc Hansen”— I am the Senor Hospital Corpsman for Kilo Battery. I was there that fateful day when he was injured, but I was not the one who saved his life (I was responding to the casualties in the first vehicle that was hit). That honor belongs to Doc Couhie and several of the Marines in the platoon…
…I have always been fond of Sgt. Nichols and am proud to call him a
friend. I will continue to pray for him, Erin, and the rest of
you—fighting the good fight on the home front in such a heart
…even though I do not pretend to know God’s plan for Sam, I do know that Sam and others have fought really hard for him to survive all that he has. I think that is because the Lord still has some plans for him in this life. So even though he may by down, Sam is a fighter and he is not out!
…Please tell Sam (I believe he can still hear us) That Doc Hansen said he is going to pull through and the whole platoon is pulling for him. Marines have a lot of confidence in there Doc’s, in regards to medical matters. I wish I was there to tell him myself.
Thank you for your time—God be with you all.”
HM2 James E. Hansen USN
|I know the reason Sam is alive today, is because of the dedication and professionalism of the Navy Corpsmen. I feel so honored that James took the time to email me and share his experiences, thoughts and words of hope for Sam. Words cannot express the gratitude and admiration I have for him, Doc Couhie and all Navy Corpsmen and medical personal who take care of our Marines. We will be forever in their debt.|
Navy Corpsmen Facts: (from www.bluejacket.com)
Twenty-two Navy corpsmen have been awarded the Medal of Honor, America’s highest decoration, for extreme heroism. Many have been awarded posthumously.
On the island of Iwo Jima, February 1945, the heroism of four Navy Corpsmen were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroism.
During World War II, seventy-six Navy Corpsmen were awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest award for heroism for the Navy and Marine Corps.
“There is no person more respected and loved by Marines than their “Doc” – their Corpsman who shares the hardship and misery of combat to save Marines lives, sometimes sacrificing their own. Navy Corpsman are true hero’s to all of us who wore the Marine uniform”
– LtGen. Michael A. Hough, USMC (Ret), Former Deputy Commadant of Aviation