Sometimes Army medics have to put themselves in harm’s way to save others. Unfortunately, two Army medics found themselves in that exact scenario in Afghanistan.
IED Attack & Ambush
On April 25, 2007, a Humvee carrying a group of Army soldiers was hit by an IED. The occupants were a part of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team were in the Paktika province on their way to meet with village leaders.
The Taliban were known for increasing their attacks in the region during the Spring, which is why medic Spc. Monica Brown was assigned to the unit.
Brown said it was a “constant mission.” On the day of the ambush, her vehicle drove into a streambed, and the soldiers heard someone yelling that another vehicle had been destroyed. Tires were flying, and the unit knew something was wrong.
Brown said, “I only saw the smoke from the vehicle when suddenly we started taking small-arms fire from all around us.” Staff Sgt. Jose Santos said, “Doc! Let’s go!”
Saving the Injured
Brown could see everyone was out of the vehicle, but two were seriously hurt on approach. When she got there, five were burned and cut, and Spc. Stanson Smith and Spc. Larry Spray had severe injuries.
According to the Washington Post, Spray was burned severely, and Smith could not see due to a cut on his forehead. As they moved the two men away from the vehicle, mortar rounds began to rain down on them.
Brown counted over a dozen, and if that wasn’t bad enough, the rounds they were carrying in the Humvee began to explode. Plus, there was small arms fire from two machine guns.
Santos drove a pickup truck over to pick up the two men, while Brown told Smith to keep Spray talking. Brown was presented with the Silver Star.
The Taliban ambushed army medic Lance Corporal Sally Clarke and her unit, and she stayed to help the injured. Clarke had shrapnel in her shoulder and back the entire time. She ignored the pain and treated the wounded, including the severely injured Cpl. Mather.
When the helicopter came, Clarke would not go and stayed with her patrol in Sangin so they would not be without a medic. She went back with them to their base and was treated by a medical aid post doctor.