Wednesday, June 11, 2014
One of my most vivid memories of training for Iraq was Combat LifeSaver Training. In 2008 it was a 3-day class ending with a hands-on exam, including starting an IV in your buddy's arm. My training partner was Sgt. Kevin Bigelow. We both got promoted to sergeant on the same day in June of 2008. I was training for my first deployment. Kevin had deployed to Afghanistan several years before. I am 30 years older than Kevin, but was also a new guy in many ways. Kevin teamed up with me in this and other training.
Most significantly Kevin and I started IVs in each other.
In the years since, the Army has removed the dreaded IV from Combat LifeSaver Training and has made the training more realistic. In the picture above, the training dummy moves, yells in pain, and blood pumps from his severed limb.
Medics oversee the trainees as they attempt to treat and evacuate the "wounded." The sounds of gunfire and screaming echo in the rooms. The rooms are dark, but have strobe lights firing to simulate gun flashes.
I was tired and streaked with face blood from taking pictures during the training exercise. It ewas fun.