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December 3, 2005

PVT Dwayne Turner, USA

McQ continues his excellent series on American heroes with PVT Dwayne Turner. McQ quotes from a warchronicle.com post to show what PVT Turner did. I would like to quote from Jack Kelly:

I'm going to tell you about Pvt. Dwayne Turner, a medic with the 101st Airborne Division, because it's unlikely you will read about him anywhere else.

A year ago April, Turner's unit came under grenade and small arms attack about 30 miles south of Baghdad. Though he was wounded with shrapnel in both legs in the initial attack, Turner repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire to drag wounded soldiers to shelter and to provide them with medical attention. He was shot twice more while treating 16 men, two of whom would have died were it not for his heroism. "No one is going to die on my watch," he said. He was awarded the Silver Star, the third highest decoration for valor.

PVT Turner himself almost died of blood loss from his injuries. In addition to the shrapnel, he was shot in the arm (which broke his arm) and in the leg. Despite these injuries, PVT Turner repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire with no regard to his own safety to treat the wounded, and bring them under cover.

PVT Turner and his Sergeant, Neil Mulvaney, were interviewed on CNN by Catherine Callaway. Here is an excerpt:

CALLAWAY: [] Sergeant, you arrived at the scene a couple of minutes after the fighting began, right?

MULVANEY: Yes, ma'am. We got a call that we had come under fire and we rolled in. We were about a minute out with the FLA, which Turner's actually on my crew. He volunteered to go in and replace one of the other medics. When they took fire, we came in under fire. Our FLA was immediately hit with small arms fire and fragmentation. As I came to the door, it was a bad mess for the medic, several casualties lying on the ground, and Private Turner was working on several of the casualties with another medic that was also wounded during the incident. As we come in we automatically go to work on the most serious, and probably several minutes before we got back to where Turner was.

When we came back to Turner, I had to put him up against the ground, and we noticed he was bleeding quite a bit. He was getting light headed and dizzy from the loss of blood, so we bandaged him up, gave him some morphine. We didn't know how critical he was until we started actually stripping him down to see what his wounds were. From there we started medical evac, we had a helicopter on wait. And as we came out of the building with him, he's trying to help us get some guys out, hopping on one leg. And the helicopter couldn't land at first because we were taking too much fire, so we actually had to go 500 meters down road to get him and six others on the helicopter. But it seemed like a long time, but there's only a short period of time from the initial attack.

CALLAWAY: Sergeant Mulvaney, you had to think -- they call him Doc Turner, I understand. What is Doc Turner doing? The man's bleeding. You really had to restrain him, literally, physically had to restrain him and shoot him up with morphine to keep him from going back out there and rescuing more of his comrades. Isn't that right?

MULVANEY: Yes, ma'am, when we first came in, him and the other medic were fighting over who was wounded the worst. So we had to put them up against the wall and say, that's enough, you've done enough. It's time for us to do our work.


CALLAWAY: And you've been awarded this incredible honor with the Silver Star. It has to feel just terrific.

TURNER: It feels good that soldiers got to see their families again.

Thank you, PVT Turner, for your heroic actions.

Posted by jeff at December 3, 2005 11:01 AM

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