News: 704th Spt. Bn. medics keep Fighting Fourth fit
FOB FALCON, Iraq " "Doc" is not a man or woman with an advanced degree in medicine, or even a registered nurse. The Doc is a 19-year-old combat medic, right out of high school, whose job is to save lives.
Company C, 704th Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, runs rampant with young heroes whose mission is to provide essential and immediate medical care for the more than 4,000 Cobra Soldiers and tenant units operating in the Iraqi capital.
Operating from Forward Operating Base Falcon in central Baghdad, the company consists of three different platoons, or sections; headquarters section, treatment section and evacuation section, and each has its own unique responsibilities, said Staff Sgt. Sean Stevens, noncommissioned officer-in-charge, treatment section, Co. C, 704th Spt. Bn.
The headquarters section deals with all aspects of administration and preventive medicine and is responsible for the Brigade Medical Supply Office, which is the central distribution point for the brigade's medical supplies.
The treatment section provides Level Two healthcare services to Cobra Soldiers. Services provided include sick-call operations, dental, x-ray, physical therapy and pharmacy services.
The evacuation section's primary responsibility is to provide ground evacuation assets to injured Soldiers on the ground and provide immediate medical treatment, while simultaneously transporting them to combat support hospitals in the brigade's area of operations.
"We're here to put Soldiers back in the fight," said Stevens, a native of Perry, Mo. "If it wasn't for a lot of the services we provide here, some of these guys would have to be transported to the CSH. Instead, they can rehab here and go back to their units performing their missions," Stevens explained.
Spc. Tavories Davis, medic, from Montgomery, Ala., said the unit's deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom has given him a chance to do his job while gaining experience in the medical field.
"I never really had a chance to do my job when I was back in the rear," said Davis. "We were always so busy training and preparing for this deployment, I never had a chance to use my skills."
Davis" responsibilities range from the screening of patients at FOB Falcon to providing trauma care to Soldiers injured performing their mission.
"When we were training to come over here, we were shown a lot of pictures of some of the injuries we would have to deal with, but until Soldiers are actually here, dealing with this is totally different," explained Davis. "Pictures can't prepare medics for the real thing."
According to Davis, the high operational tempo has kept the "Blacksmith" medics of the 704th Spt. Bn. on the alert and awaiting their next mission.
"All the guys from my company are always on call, and we're always ready," he said. "We like our job because we like to help people. That is what this job is all about."
Taking care of a patient at sick-call or performing lifesaving emergency medical care to a Soldier during a firefight, the Soldiers from Co. C feel they have been successful, and continue to contribute to the mission in Baghdad.
"Before we deployed to come over here I had my doubts about how well we could work together to get something accomplished," said Pvt. Joanne Wilkins, patient administration specialist, and native of Killeen, Texas, "but in my opinion, we've done a great job."
"Everyone knows their part, and we work together to get things done. That is what makes us successful," she said.