Photo By Sgt. Ashley Curtis | Capt. Bruce C. Meneley, commanding officer of Role 3 Multinational Hospital, addresses the audience during the Hospital Corpsman's 114th birthday ceremony and celebration at Role 3 on Kandahar Airfield, June 17, 2012.
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KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Hospital corpsmen, or "docs," can play extremely important roles in the lives of service members from all branches. When they are assigned to remote or small quarters, they may be the only healthcare professionals available. When they work with a full staff, they're also vital to the caretaking of service members, like the patients of Role 3 Multinational Hospital at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
"It's one of the most important jobs in the Navy. We care for the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy. We play a pivotal role in the mission's success," said Petty Officer 1st Class Dave Wysk, hospital corpsman at Role 3.
Those serving at Role 3 celebrated the legacy of the profession during the 114th Hospital Corpsman Birthday ceremony and luau there, June 13. "It gives us a chance to celebrate the history and tradition of the hospital corpsman. It's the one time of year we get to highlight what we do," said Wysk.
"The opportunity to celebrate the 114th Hospital Corpsman Birthday in an active combat zone really gives us all here at the NATO Role 3 MMU a much greater appreciation of the sacrifices that our past and present hospital corpsmen have made in supporting sailors, Marines, airmae and soldiers in every conflict that the nation has seen," said Master Chief Petty Officer Keith Staples, Role 3.
The event was marked by several time-honored traditions like the reading of the Hospital Corpsman Pledge and cutting of the cake by the distinguished guest, oldest and youngest hospital corpsman present.
"I'm proud of everyone that took part [in the event] and helped out," said Wysk.
Before the ceremony ended and the birthday luau began, everyone who had gathered stood silently and respectfully while names were recited and a solemn bell tone rang out for each hospital corpsman who paid the highest price by giving their life to the cause of during Operation Enduring Freedom.
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KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AF
This work, Corpsmen celebrate 114th birthday on KAF, by SGT Ashley Curtis, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.