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Crazyhorse medics save locals’ lives

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The medical staff of Team “Crazyhorse,” Company C, 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Creek, has saved the lived of 15 Afghans, both civilians and Afghan National Security Force members, since arriving in theater in July.

Of their successes, one patient in particular stands out in their memories: an Afghan Border Police officer who’d received a gunshot wound in his chest.

The ABP officer was brought into the clinic Aug. 15, unconscious and needing a blood transfusion. The medics of Team Crazyhorse went to work, turning their tiny aid station into an impromptu emergency room.

U.S. Army 1st Lt. David Hildebrand, the platoon leader for Crazyhorse’s 3rd Platoon, and U.S. Army Spc. Jay Dick, a rifleman, both natives of Tulsa, Okla., volunteered to give blood to the ABP soldier, as they matched his blood type, O negative.

“I wanted to show our Afghan partners that we are here to help them,” said Hildebrand.

The Crazyhorse medics treated the soldier without pause for more than nine hours, keeping him alive until an ambulance arrived to evacuate him to a local hospital. He survived his injuries and is currently recovering.

“That’s my only job: to help save lives” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jason Henry, the physician assistant for Crazyhorse.

Treating patients in their improvised ER isn’t the only duty of these Crazyhorse medics. On top of treating the injured, Company C medics go out on each patrol, and all have treated patients under fire.

“You don’t really think about it, it’s just muscle memory; you just go and do your job,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Johnathon Lowe, a resident of Tulsa, Okla., about working under fire.

Lowe’s dedication to his job, as well as the dedication of his fellow medics, has earned them much respect from the men of team Crazyhorse.

“I’ve seen these guys work under fire. They work as riflemen, then when something happens they go into action as a medic. I wouldn’t go anywhere without these guys,” said Hildebrand.

Crazyhorse medics have also had to be treated themselves.

U.S. Army Spc. Jared Fletcher of Tulsa, Okla., was in a vehicle struck by an improvised explosive device. Fletcher suffered a traumatic brain injury in the blast; however, this did not hinder him. He stabilized the other occupants in the vehicle before the quick reaction force arrived and received treatment for his own injuries - only after he was done stabilizing the other soldiers. He was evacuated along with the rest of the injured soldiers.

“[Fletcher] basically shut everything out and did his job,” says U.S. Army Capt. Brandon Kimbrel, a native of Marion, Kan., and commander of team Crazyhorse, “This gives us security and confidence in the medics, down to the lowest level of soldier.”

Article by Combined Joint Task Force 1