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VFW Magazine August 2017 : Page 17

Comparatively, the Army spent only eight weeks molding Vietnam medics — half the time the Navy devoted. When he landed in Vietnam, Vineyard volunteered for the Marine 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. He saw his share of combat, earning a Purple Heart. “Doc” Vineyard per-formed minor sur-gery regularly. “We’d come off patrol and take care of the guys’ prob-lems so they didn’t have to go to the battalion aid sta-tion,” he recalled. Medics and corpsmen didn’t spend all their time crawling about under fire. Mundane day-to-day matters consumed most of their time: ensuring men took their dreaded Dapsone anti-malaria pills, making sure they drank copious amounts of water and took enough salt pills, clear-ing out boils that erupted when web gear etched red, salty wounds into sweaty flesh. It was these daily tasks, as much per-haps as combat, that earned one the title “Doc.” In the field, med-ics’ and corpsmens’ medical kits con-tained — among other items — ban-dages, abdominal dressings, flexible plastic coverings for treating sucking chest wounds, IVs clamps and mor-phine. Oh, and a shroud-ed flashlight doesn’t hurt either as this author discovered July 12, 1970. Treating a man from the light of a fistful of burning matches doesn’t work very well. Lesson learned: check your medical kit once, and then check it again. Your buddies are dependent on you. Such is the stuff that binds men’s wounds. In Vietnam there was — far more often than not — total faith in one another. The total commitment so many of these men made demanded nothing less. J EMAIL VFW member Jerome Greer Chandler was an Army medic, a 91A. In 1970 he served with D Co., 2nd Bn., 501st Inf. Regt., 101st Airborne Div. A regular con-tributor to VFW magazine, Chandler is a former assistant professor at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. LEFT: This rectangular canvas rucksack contains large internal space for storing various assorted medical equipment. It has several inner pockets and ties to keep an M5 aid bag secure. The M5 bag contained all the medical supplies a platoon would need. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARMY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT CENTER OF HISTORY AND HERITAGE, U.S. ARMY MEDICAL COMMAND Reminisce together, even when you’re far away. Stan, remember that day right before we deployed? you and conners were over at VFW members with hearing loss receive: Free Phone. Free Service. In-home set up available. No contracts. Registration required.) Hearing loss shouldn’t keep you from connecting on the phone. With a free Sprint Captel phone, it’s easy to catch virtually every word. With captions on your call, you can always follow what’s being said. The phone, service, and installation are free, and it works with your existing home phone service. So, use the phone like you always have, and connect with your friends again. Mention code “SPRVET” when you order. 913-315-5200 • • CapTel is intended for use by people with hearing loss. Individuals with hearing loss must complete & submit a Third Party Certification of Eligibility signed by hearing health professional to be eligible for free Internet-based CapTel phone. Free CapTel Phone Offer: See for details. CapTel Captioning Svc. funded through FCC provisions. CapTel callers are responsible for their own long distance call charges. Sprint reserves the right to modify, extend or cancel offers at any time. See for details. Other Terms: Offer/coverage not avail. everywhere. Restrictions apply. ©2017 Sprint. AUGUST 2017   • WWW.VFW.ORG • 17

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