Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Combat Lifesaver

Last week I was on AT (Active Training) for a 5 day course called the Combat Lifesaver Course. This course teaches very basic medical care, to be given in the midst of combat. I was the only chaplain in the class, but after taking it, I believe that every chaplain should take it. First, we do not carry weapons, so the offering of basic medical care would not hinder us from our primary mission, which is to provide spiritual comfort and care. Second, a good chaplain is with his soldiers; a chaplain won't be very effective if he or she sits in an office on post and never gets outside the wire with the soldiers, or spends time where they spend time. Combat Lifesaver is one more opportunity to put this truth into action and get engaged.

The course taught us very basic medical treatments such as starting an IV, treating chest puncture wounds (sucking chest wounds), treating tension pneumothorax (when the lung collapses and the body cavity fills with air, threatening to collapse the other lung), and a variety of other basic combat injuries.

I enjoyed the training. It's good stuff to know. I hope that I never have to use it, but it's knowledge that I have if I need it.


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