Troops unite to save soldier knifed in head – Army Times

Troops unite to save soldier knifed in head – Army Times
Troops unite to save soldier knifed in head
By Patrick Winn – Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Oct 24, 2007 14:01:27 EDT

It felt like a nasty sucker punch. Yet when he strained his eyes to the hard right, there was something that didn’t belong: the pewter-colored contour of a knife handle jutting from his skull.Sgt. Dan Powers, stabbed in the head by an insurgent on the streets of East Baghdad, triggered a modern miracle of military medicine, logistics, technology and air power.

His survival relied on the Army’s top vascular neurosurgeon guiding Iraq-based U.S. military physicians via laptop, the Air Force’s third nonstop medical evacuation from Central Command to America, and the best physicians Bethesda National Naval Medical Center in Maryland could offer.

It required extraordinary hustle from a string of ground medics, air medics, C-17 pilots, jet refuel technicians and more. Not an hour after the attack, Powers, a squad leader with the Army’s 118th Military Police Company, was draped in sheets on a medical gurney bound for Balad Air Force Base, about 30 minutes away by helicopter.

Watch a video of the examination of Sgt. Powers in Iraq, with the knife still in his head, here, courtesy of MilitaryTimes.

And, if you want to see one example of how hard the services work to save one life,

…the operations center was telling him to change planes, directing him toward a different C-17 Globemaster, one with a plus-sized fuel tank. Red 7, the center said, would be picking up a severely injured soldier from Balad to fly him nonstop to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., just outside Washington.

“Our initial reaction was, ‘I don’t believe you,’” Bufton said. “Nobody goes to Andrews Air Force Base from Balad.”…

Watch the video, and marvel that he wants very much to go back to active duty.

A warning to trolls on this post: your comments will be deleted and your IP address banned.

Hat tip to FFM.


  1. Amazing!!! Thanks for sharing. Would you submit this to SurgeXperiences? [] Thanks.

  2. Jim in Texas says:

    Having worked in the Tanker Airlift Control Center at the Air Mobility Command at Scott AFB, IL I’m aware of what it took to bring about the miracle of transportation to get this young man back to the U.S. in a timely manner. Most Americans don’t realize the incredible assets we have in this country to bring things like this about; many accept it as a normal activity because they accept our military as a “normal activity.”

    I can put this in proper perspective. Not one country in the world could have pulled this off, none. We are the only country in the world that command this kind of airlift magic. Even our closest allies couldn’t do it. Most Americans are not aware that when the world needs to move men and material long distances the world comes to us.

    And not just military assistance. After the Christmas tsunami only your Air Force could airlift the resources to that region to help. Even the big commercial freight aircraft needed the USAF to get the supplies out of the aircraft to ground level. Everyday of the year an incredible ballet of aerial assets move men and material all over the world and do it so easily that many of us don’t realize the complexity of it all.

    Please think about that the next time there’s a disaster somewhere in the world because I can guarentee that without the USAF’s heavy lift ability and inflight refueling nothing will happen in a timely fashion.

  3. GodofCrabs says:

    Not to mention that there aren’t a great many countries in the world what would EVEN mobilize this amount of resource to get ONE soldier the care he requires.