“I just reacted when the time came.”


Sergeant Monica Brown (DOD)

You know the image – all hell breaks loose and desperate soldiers begin to yell, “Medic!” From out of nowhere appears the corpsman, a tough-as-nails medical professional who performs life saving procedures under a hail of fire.

This is that story.

“It was dusk on April 25, 2007, when Brown, a medic from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, was on a routine security patrol along the rolling, rocky plains of the isolated Jani Khail district in Afghanistan’s Paktika province when insurgents attacked her convoy.” (DefenseLink)

An IED hit one of the vehicles, injuring five soldiers, two of them in critical condition. In a scene right out of “Band of Brothers”, Brown and her platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Jose Santos, left their Humvee and ran to the scene. As bullets flied just inches from their heads, Brown began first aid. Spc. Jack Bodani, one of the injured, laid down supressing fire.

One vehicle was maneuvered to provide some cover, while another backed up to where the injured were being treated. They were evacuated to a site a couple of hundred yards away while Brown continued treating the wounded soldiers.

Eventually, the attackers were repulsed and a helicopter arrived to lift the hurt troops to safety. All of them survived.

“Before joining the Army at the age of 17, the bright-eyed young woman said she never pictured herself being in a situation like this. Originally wanting to be an X-ray technician, she changed her mind when she realized that by becoming a medic, she’d be in the best place to help people.

“’At first, I didn’t think I could do it,’ she said. ‘I was actually afraid of blood. When I saw my first airway-opening operation, I threw up.’ She quickly adjusted to her job and received additional training both before and during her deployment to Afghanistan.

“’I realized that everything I had done during the attack was just rote memory,’ she said. ‘Kudos to my chain of command for that. I know with training, like I was given, any medic would have done the same in my position.’”

That’s one tough-as-nails medical professional. For her efforts, she and Spc. Bodani were awarded the Silver Star.

“’While I’m not scared to get my hands dirty, I have to say that I never fully became a medic until I came over here and did it firsthand,’ she said. ‘I just reacted when the time came.’” (All quotes from DefenseLink)

Sergeant Monica Brown is our hero of the week.

For the complete story, see the article in DefenseLink.


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