navy-corpsman

“Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, March 1968: US Navy Hospital Corpsman Theodore Rutkowski of Pittsburgh lies on the ground just outside of Khe Sanh’s outer defenses and uses a stethoscope to listen for signs of Viet Cong tunneling beneath the beleaguered base. Covering him is US Marine Julian Kalama of San Lorenzo, Calif.”

Photographed by John Olson for Stars and Stripes

Corpsman are not sailors or marines.

Fun fact of the day it was a natational decree (don’t know when) that corpsman are neither sailors or marines. Once a corpsman becomes a corpsman they are stripped of all titles sense they are the only enlisted corps they are called corpsman. So i’m not sailor, I’m not a marine, I am a corpsman!

Hospital Corpsman Donald W. Vogt, Victoria, Texas, treats a Vietnamese woman while children watch, during patrol by Second Platoon, “L” Company, Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment eight miles southwest of Da Nang, Vietnam. 

February 12 1969 LCpl Sanchez

Corpsmen and medics often treated the injuries and ailments of civilians. Sometimes units visited villages with the express purpose of rendering aid. A sidearm can be seen on Corpsman Vogt’s hip in this image.

Corpsman and their Marines

The bond between a corpsman and his marine that he takes care of is unparalleled. The corpsman will literally do anything for his marines and his marines will do anything for him. They treat him with so much respect and this isn’t just a given respect its earned. And if they truly respect him they will call him “doc” which is probably the most rewarding thing a corpsman can be presented with. I just hope I can earn that respect one day. Been spending these last six months of my life training to be one and I still have a long ways to go. I’m going to give it my all.

Corpsman Prayer

Grant me, oh Lord, for the coming events;
Enough knowledge to cope and some plain common sense.
Be at our side on those nightly patrols;
And be merciful judging our vulnerable souls.
Make my hands steady and as sure as a rock;
when the others go down with a wound or in shock.
Let me be close, when they bleed in the mud;
With a tourniquet handy to save precious blood.
Here in the jungle, the enemy near;
Even the corpsman can’t offer much lightness and cheer.
Just help me, oh Lord, to save lives when I can;
Because even out there is merit in man.
If It’s Your will, make casualties light;
And don’t let any die in the murderous night.
These are my friends I’m trying to save;
They are frightened at times, but You know they are brave.
Let me not fail when they need so much;
But to help me serve with a compassionate touch.
Lord, I’m no hero – my job is to heal;
And I want You to know Just how helpless I feel.
Bring us back safely to camp with dawn;
For too many of us are already gone.
Lord bless my friends If that’s part of your plan;
And go with us tonight, when we go out again.

+ A Corpsman’s Prayer +

Grant me, oh Lord, for the coming events; enough knowledge to cope and some plain common sense. Be at our side on those nightly patrols; And be merciful judging our vulnerable souls. Make my hands steady and as a sure as a rock; When the others go down with a wound or in shock. Let me be close, when they bleed in the mud; With a tourniquet handy to save precious blood. Here in the jungle, the enemy near; Even the corpsman can’t offer much lightness and cheer. Just help me, oh Lord, to save lives when I can; Because even out there is merit in man. If its your will, make casualties light; And don’t let any die in the murderous night. These are my friends I’m trying to save; they are frightened at times, but you know they are brave. Let me not fail when they need so much; But to help me serve with a compassionate touch. Lord, I’m no hero - my job is to heal; And I want you to know just how helpless I feel. Bring us back safely to camp with dawn. For too many of us are already gone. Lord bless my friends if that’s part of your plan; And go with us tonight, when we go out again.

Today you should take the time to thank anyone in the service for putting themselves on the line to help provide us with the freedoms we have, and want to see in the future. It takes the strongest person to wake up every day and face the challenges that come with a deployment. No matter what opinion you have about the government, war, and the military you should honor and appreciate the men and women serving our country, we are able to live freely because of them.

“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

I am a proud girlfriend of a Navy Corpsman who is currently deployed in Afghanistan on a 7 month tour. Thank you so much for serving, Doc. You’re coming home soon! I love you.