Category Archives: Military

Remembering Those We Lost


Memorial Day 2016

With a never ending cycle of 24 hour news, it can be easy to miss key events. This never-ending inundation of propaganda is further confused by the need for every person, group, and organization to be validated in one way or another. Most often, this is achieved by giving months, weeks, and days specific designations in the United States.

As an example, in the U.S., May 2016 is Date Your Mate, Foster Care, and Older Americans Month; along with National Barbecue, Bike, Blood Pressure, Hamburger, Photograph, Recommitment, Salad, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

We also get to celebrate Nurse’s, Wildflower, Bike, Police, and Emergency Medical Services Week and just to narrow it down even further, May 30 is Water a Flower Day, Mint Julep Day, and Loomis Day. Let us not forget the 26 medical causes that have May as their month, week, or day.

With all of these special designations, we have created an environment where it is easy to gloss over the more important things to reflect on.

Above all else, today is Memorial Day, an opportunity to stop and reflect on the men and women who we have lost in service to our nation. Today is especially important to me because of my service during combat operations in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division in  2003-2004, 2005-2006, and 2007-2008 as a combat medic.

As a combat veteran, I saw many lose their lives. As combat medics, we fought to make sure that every Soldier made it home. We were very good at our jobs but we were not perfect. In war, there will be casualties.

All gave some, some gave all.

There are many Americans who are sometimes confused about the differences between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Today is a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and did not come home to their loved ones. It is always appreciated to know that our service is appreciated but, please honor us on Veterans Day.

Today I ask that you join me to honor those who answered the call from our country and made the ultimate sacrifice. Their families are forced to move on without them, without the chance to even share one last moment together. These men and women are the reason that we celebrate Memorial Day.

Veterans Day 2014 – Always Remember

Happy Veterans Day 2014!

I just wanted to say that I hope everyone has enjoyed their Veterans Day 2014 today. It is a time to have fun and hopefully get a respite from work as we celebrate the sacrifices that have been made by the uniformed service members of the United States.

Veterans Day 2014
My 2nd Tour in Iraq, 2005-2006

This is a special day to me because I made the choice to serve my country and to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. This has come at a price. There are many days that I missed with my wife and kids. Christmas and birthdays came and went and I was in the middle east just hoping for the chance to call and wish them a Merry Christmas or happy birthday. But even as hard as that was, there are many of my friends, brothers and sisters in arms, who have come back missing a part of themselves.

There is nothing wrong with having a good time today. In fact, I am making the best of my day by grilling hamburgers with my family and friends. My hope though is that you will all take the chance today to at least pause for a moment and think about everyone out there who has gone above and beyond so that we can live the life we have.

I also wanted to share a little bit of what the Department of Veterans Affairs has to say about the history of Veterans Day.

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

To read the entire history, visit the VA webpage.

It is important to know why we take this time of remembrance. Please make sure to share the true meaning of Veterans Day with your kids. I hope that you all have a great day!

Thank you for celebrating Veterans Day 2014 with me!

Gone But Not Forgotten…

Today is Memorial Day. It is not a surprise to many people. Everyone knows that it is some sort of holiday that resulted in a day off from school, work, etc. Most will capitalize on the opportunity to go hit the lake, swim, and grill out. There is nothing wrong with that but there is more to today than just having a good time with friends and family. Please make sure to honor those who answered the call from our country and made the ultimate sacrifice. Their families are forced to move on without them, without the chance to even have one last BBQ. There are literally tens of thousands of men and women over the years who never made it home. They are gone but not forgotten.

I especially honor the men who I served with that gave their lives in Iraq:

PFC Scott A. Messer, B TRP 1-32 CAV, 02 February 2006

SGT Thomas B. Turner Jr., C TRP 1-32 CAV, 14 July 2006

SPC Jermaine D. Franklin, A TRP 1-32 CAV, 09 November 2007

SSG Jonathon L. Martin, A TRP 1-32 CAV, 22 Novmber 2007

PFC Danny L. Kimme, C TRP 1-32 CAV, 16 January 2008

PFC David H. Sharrett, C TRP 1-32 CAV, 16 January 2008

SPC John P. Sigsbee, C TRP 1-32 CAV, 16 January 2008

PFC John T. Bishop, C TRP 1-32 CAV, 23 April 2008

1LT Timothy W. Cunningham, C TRP 1-32 CAV, 23 April 2008

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13



Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Med Kit

There are a number of different missions that are carried out by the various branches of the federal government and military but one of the common denominators that makes a mission successful is good planning and support. One of the key support personnel for every mission is the medic, or in the case of the United States Coast Guard, the rescue swimmer. The mission of the rescue swimmer is to maintain proper training and conditioning to assist persons in distress in the maritime environment, including search and rescue operations and to provide pre-hospital life support to rescued individuals. The following is a list of the medical equipment that a rescue swimmer uses to help others survive disaster in the water.

Picture Credit:
U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer
Emergency Medical Equipment

The medical bag of choice for the U.S. Coast Guard is the Aeromed EMS Pack by Thomas Transport Packs.

Picture Credit: Thomas Transport Packs

Packed inside of the Aeromed Pack are these items in the mandatory configuration:

COMPARTMENT 1 – Outside:

  • Blood Pressure Cuff
  • Stethoscope
  • Pen Light
  • Latex Gloves
  • Scissors
COMPARTMENT 2 – Outside:
  • SAM Splint
COMPARTMENT 3 – Outside:
  • Airway Kit, Oropharyngeal
  • Airway Kit, Nasalpharyngeal
  • Pocket Mask
  • Ace Wrap


  • Band-Aid, Adhesive
  • Charcoal, Activated
  • Glucose, Oral
  • Syrup of Ipecac
  • Bulb Syringe
  • Cord Clamps
  • Umbilical Tape
  • Battle Dressing, Small
  • Battle Dressing, Med.
  • Battle Dressing, Large
  • Bandage, Gauze
  • Water Gel, Burn Kit
  • Petroleum Gauze
  • Sponges, Surgical, 4×4
  • Cravat, Bandage
  • Plastic Bag
  • Adhesive, Tape, 2″
  • Adhesive, Tape, 1
Inside: Collar, Cervical – No-Neck, Small, Medium, Large – 1 of Each
  • Band-Aid
  • Thermometer 94-108F and/or Electronic Ear Canal Thermometer
  • Ball Point Pen

In addition to the medical bag, the following items make up the remainder of the rescue swimmer emergency medical kit located on board the helicopter:

  • Bag-Valve Mask by Life Support Products
  • Resuscitator, Oxygen by Life Support Products
  • Laerdal Suction Kit V-Vac by Dyna Med Inc.
  • Cylinder, Oxygen “D” Size M-22 by Life Support Products
  • Antishock Trousers
  • Traction Splint
  • Cervical Collars
  • Medevac Board by Lifesaving Systems Corp.
  • Medevac Report Form (CG-5214)
  • Victims/Casualty Hypothermia Bag by Wiggy’s Inc.
  • Automatic External Defibrillator (AED): Heartstream Forerunner Model E01 including Semi-Rigid Carrying Case, DP5 Extra Pads, Data Card (30 Mins. ECG & Event) and BT1 Battery Pack
  • Current EMT Text (Currently used by USCG EMT School)

Reference: Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Manual, COMDTINST M3710.4B, 28 JUL 00

My Interview With Poor Man Prepper

Yesterday I had the opportunity to do an interview with Lat Cozad of the Poor Man Prepper Podcast. I had a great time and enjoyed getting to speak with Lat about medical preparedness, my time in the military, and a little bit about preparedness in general. If you are interested in listening to the interview and hearing what I have to say, check out Episode 528 of the Poor Man Prepper Podcast.