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    Medic reflects about time in service

    Medic reflects about time in service

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Ricardo Branch | Spc. Franklin Foose, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-3 Brigade Troops...... read more read more

    Spc. Ricardo Branch
    1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

    CAMP RAMADI, Iraq – Few people meet Spc. Franklin Foose and walk away unchanged by the experience, that's mostly due to the fact that he is a medic in the Army.

    "Anytime I need medical help, I go to Foose," said Spc. Khemra Sam, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team. "You can go to him for anything."

    In his workplace at the 1-3 Brigade Troops Battalion aid station, Foose has an impact on his fellow medics.

    "He's mentored me since I've been a private," said Spc. Sarah Prout, a fellow medic in the 1-3 BTB. "He's taught me everything I know as a medic out here and I don't think I'd be where I am without him."

    Raised outside of Pine Grove, Pa., Foose, 23, began his life in a small town with only two stop signs, no traffic lights and no gas station. His town is situated in a valley, with approximately 200 people who used to mine coal years ago.

    "The town is so small, the post office only delivered mail within walking distance," he said. "I lived two miles away, so mail was always late."

    There was never much to do in his hometown, so Foose and his friends would make their own fun by hunting, partying and hanging out.

    The town didn't have a school, so Foose attended classes 17 miles away at Blue Mountain High School and grew up playing sports.

    His parents were always supportive of any decision he made, so he enlisted in the Army after his 17th birthday in the fall of 2002.

    He decided to be a medic for the challenge it presented him. He said that one of the reasons for becoming a medic was the TV show M.A.S.H. Although, with a laugh, he admits this is not much like the show.

    "I don't know what I'd be if I wasn't a medic," Foose said. "I know I never saw myself as an infantryman because the medical field seemed like a bigger challenge for me."

    Foose has been deployed three times in the Army. He deployed the first time with 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry in Baghdad in 2003, them again with 1-3 BTB to Samarra in 2005, and then to Ramadi with the BTB for Operation Iraqi Freedom V in 2007.

    "This is by far the hardest of the three deployments," he said. "My first two deployments I wasn't married. This one, I have a daughter and a wife and it's hard because I miss them a lot."

    Work's not hard for Foose because his experiences taught him how to treat patients.

    "I've treated everything from gunshot wounds to the head to missing limbs and pieces. I've seen it all I guess," he said. "The biggest problems medics have out here is that medicine is not completely accurate."

    Trauma, such as a missing limb, is by the book, but treating sick-call ailments, such as a chest pain, can go either way with multiple solutions to the problem that can be right.

    "People often won't be confident enough to make a decision, or you have to make a decision, and you could be right or wrong," Foose said. "If you don't do anything, you will be wrong and that's usually where most people have the biggest problem."

    A good day for him is having no one call him for anything. Foose has worked the entire deployment with very little time off, and it has taken a toll on him.

    "A day off," he laughed. "That's really the best day out here. You can't expect to have a lot of time off but a day here and there would be great."

    In the short span of Foose's military career, he has done many things he didn't expect he would do. He enlisted during a war, he's treated Soldiers on the battlefield, and he's become a husband and recently a father.

    "I've no regrets," he said. "The military has its ups and downs. The Army lets you do things that you'd never have the opportunity to do as a civilian, but at the same time, you have to sacrifice some of your personal life."

    Foose said the Army makes life seem smaller to him from his experiences.

    "In the Army, you don't need to wait 50 years of your life to realize life's going to end someday," he said. "What I've been through makes everything seem shorter and now I live for the moment and not for the long run."

    One of the first experiences of his life in the military that made Foose the man he is today was when he treated his first patient. He said he was sleeping in a trailer in Baghdad when someone woke him up early to take care of patients.

    "I grabbed all my gear and hopped in a truck going outside the gate," he said. "Our quick reaction force was just returning back to the camp and came across an ambushed military convoy. When I arrived, there were four people lying on the ground, who were in serious conditions."

    That day on Main Supply Route Tampa, Foose treated his first casualty on his own, an 18-year-old Soldier peppered with shrapnel. The young man asked him if he would be okay while Foose worked to dress his injuries and get him stable for an air medical evacuation.

    "The first time you treat someone by yourself, you'll never forget it," he said. "You do everything you can and will still think about what you could have done more for him."

    Foose said the guys' watching their friend being treated think it's tough, but medics remember their first time treating someone for years.

    Many Soldiers get out of the military after multiple deployments to Iraq. Foose is getting out as well, but it's to do what means most to him, and that's to raise his family.

    "My goal in life is to have a family," he said. "I've done jobs before the Army where I was concerned with money, but I know now I really don't need money to be happy."

    Foose's happiness was sparked when he met his wife Elizabeth and then blossomed even further after the birth of their daughter Olivia. Though he's leaving military service, he takes many memories, good and bad, but one thing stands out.

    "Life's not about what you do really, it's more about who you affect," he said. "I don't care how high I get on any totem pole, as long as the people I impact along my way are happy, then I'm happy."



    Date Taken: 02.24.2008
    Date Posted: 02.24.2008 11:31
    Story ID: 16648
    Location: RAMADI, IQ 

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