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Saving Specialist Gray

by By MAJ Kevin J. Cuccinelli Battalion Surgeon Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 4:50 PM

While the daily headlines report that we need more soldiers in Iraq, I know one soldier that would disagree. For 22-year old Specialist Roy Alan Gray, there were more than enough soldiers here when the task at hand was to save his life.

While the daily headlines report that we need more soldiers in Iraq, I know one soldier that would disagree. For 22-year old Specialist Roy Alan Gray, there were more than enough soldiers here when the task at hand was to save his life.

Specialist (SPC) Gray is a member of the 1-8 Infantry Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th ID, otherwise known as the "Fighting Eagles." On September 8, 2003, he was part of a convoy delivering the coveted "hot dinner" to his battalion's headquarters (HQ) area. SPC Gray had just returned to his truck when a mortar round exploded only 30 feet away. Shrapnel from the mortar pierced the truck's metal door and cut up through his left thigh. Smaller shrapnel bits lodged in his shoulder and ear. The leg wound, however, proved to be life threatening.

At his location was the forward deployed aid station for his unit. The medics acted quickly, called for an Air MEDEVAC immediately, and attended to his injuries while the helicopter was en route. The medics initiated this care as more mortars continued to impact around them. They started 2 IVs and began pouring fluid into him. His thigh wound still bled profusely even after their initial treatments so the medics quickly opted for a tourniquet, a common last resort measure. The tourniquet stopped most of the bleeding by blocking all blood flow to his injured leg. While this greatly increased the chances that he would lose his leg, it stopped the more immediate threat of massive blood loss, thereby saving his life. The surgeons would later report that if not for the medic's immediate response, SPC Gray would have been dead on arrival (DOA) by the time he made it to the hospital.


SPC Gray's case is representative of the esprit de corps of those in uniform out here in Iraq. There are many people involved in keeping us alive and working for freedom in Iraq that are never seen. The Army's doctors, nurses, medics, pilots, crews, lab techs, National Guard soldiers, and Airmen are, more often than not, in a combat support role, much like SPC Gray . They too risk their lives, left their families and friends and sacrifice. They are not likely to be the ones that find Saddam. They do not man the checkpoints or conduct the raids, but they do see the casualties. They understand truly that "Freedom isn't free" and witness its price. They can only stare at the daily horrors of the war and negotiate for a lower price. They spend all day, everyday, attempting to get all the "SPC Gray's" home to their families, alive and well.

Interestingly enough, on September 8th, the national news back home reported "there was little action in Iraq today..."


Read it all.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 15 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Read this, you morons who... nonanarchist Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 4:57 PM
oh wow Sheepdog Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 5:37 PM
Forgot one nonanarchist Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 9:16 PM
Read this wavemaster Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 10:00 PM
Good job, wavemaster! nonanarchist Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 10:40 PM
Uh, how did you get so stupid fresca Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 10:46 PM
Next time a protester calls you a Nazi Barney Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 1:50 AM
We went because on 9-11 the Islamic Fascists attacked us again Sheepdog Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 4:00 AM
answer this wavemaster Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 4:09 AM
wavemaster nonanarchist Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 4:18 AM
Terrorists Wavemaster Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 4:31 AM
Oh please sheepdog fresca Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 4:32 AM
Wavemaster nonanarchist Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 4:51 AM
Sorry... nonanarchist Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 4:53 AM
Please tell us your 9-11 fantasies again, please. Sheepdog Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 4:09 PM

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