Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)
Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)
U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)
Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)
U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)
An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)
U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)
Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (click for more)
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Matthew Hackett of Omaha, Neb., was treating a Soldier for back pain in the aid station on Combat Outpost Herrera, April 14, when he heard what he said sounded like bubble-wrap being popped followed by a large boom.
“It was like someone punched the wall of the aid station,” said Hackett, a medic attached to Company A, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Lethal.
The noises came from an attack at a nearby Afghan Border Police compound, after a suicide bomber and several gunmen left two policemen dead and five wounded.
The injured were brought to COP Herrera for treatment.
“I heard the call on the radio that casualties were coming and moments later the door was getting knocked down,” said Hackett.
Hackett and another Co. A medic, U.S. Army Spc. Eva Dziengal, of Iowa City, Iowa, had just enough time to prepare their equipment before the incoming casualties began to arrive.
But as the wounded arrived, so did help, in the form of two more medics and three Soldiers certified in combat lifesaving.
Hackett said he is used to taking orders rather than giving them, he said, but as the senior medic on the COP that day, he had to step up and take the lead over the other Soldiers, which was a challenge he faced head on.
“It was a little crazy, my first time being in charge,” said Hackett.
Still, Hackett maintained his cool, identifying the needs of each patient on the spot and instructing the medics there to treat them accordingly until a medical evacuation helicopter arrived.
Once stabilized, all five casualties were taken to Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khowst province to be treated at a higher level of hospital care.
Looking back a day after the incident, Hackett said it was helpful that the casualties arrived staggered, instead of all at once.
But it was more than timing that made this medical team successful; it was experience, added Hackett.
“We’ve dealt with enough trauma in our aid station that everything came natural,” he said.
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