Thursday, March 22, 2007

Soldier performs life-saving actions despite life-threatening wounds

From CentCom:

Photo: Army Cpl. Clinton A. WarrickSept. 18, 2006, was a typical morning for platoon medic Cpl. Warrick: The sun was bright, and U.S. military police and Iraqi policemen were conducting their usual transitional training at the Al Huria police station in Iraq. Suddenly, without warning, small-arms fire erupted from all directions. The base was under siege. Coalition forces concentrated fire on the attackers, but then a speeding pick-up truck crashed through the entrance and careened toward the center of the station. The truck detonated its 200-pound aircraft bomb, throwing Cpl. Warrick several meters and knocking him unconscious. Rubble from the explosion buried him. Warrick’s platoon leader saw what happened and quickly pulled him from the debris.

Warrick’s legs were on fire – so the platoon leader used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. When Warrick regained consciousness, he realized that he was badly burned – but he also realized that if he sat in one place, he would go into shock. He requested morphine, but his medic bag was buried in the burning building. As a medic, he knew that without pain medication, his only choice to avoid slipping into shock was to stay active. So he climbed through a hole in the building to see how he could assist. With a heavy stream of fire still reigning down on the station, and suffering from third-degree burns over 45 percent of his body as well as shrapnel wounds and smoke-inhalation injuries, Warrick went about the work of a medic: He assessed injured soldiers and Iraqi policemen – and told the nearby support battalion what injuries they could expect. That vital information helped save the lives of seven Iraqi policemen.

Warrick realized he couldn’t fight off the shock much longer, so he moved to the north side of the station where he could be evacuated to the medical station himself. For his life-saving actions while suffering from life-threatening wounds, Warrick was awarded the Silver Star on Dec. 11, 2006.

Photo: Army Cpl. Clinton A. Warrick