Thursday, December 21, 2006
Hospital Corpsman Christopher “Doc” Anderson, United States Navy
The relationship between Navy Corpsmen and Marines dates back to the Spanish-American war. Evidently back then the Marines (as they are today) were better at combat than they were at patching themselves up so they looked to the Navy to provide them with field medics.
Hospital Corpsman Christopher “Doc” Anderson exemplified the finest tradition of Navy Corpsmen in the care he gave “his” Marines. You see, there’s a pecking order in the rivalry amongst the Navy Squids and the Marine Corps Jarheads. Anderson had transcended that rivalry and earned the unofficial title of “Doc” – given by Marines to “their” Doc – the one in whom they trust their wounded comrades. Marines will take bullets for their fellow Marines, but will gladly do the same for their “Doc”. When asked why, some Marines reply “because he’s the only one who can take it out.”
Doc Anderson gave his life in the service of his country – alongside “his” Marines – somewhere near Ramadi, in Iraq’s Anbar Province on December 4. The heart wrenching story of his long journey home, escorted by his best friend and fellow Corpsman, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class John Dragneff is one every person should read and ponder upon.
I tip my hat to the people of United Airlines for the respectful and professional way in which they treated Dragneff and the honor they gave Anderson on their journey. Kudos as well to citizens of Longmont, Colorado for the way they welcomed home their native son.
There isn’t much more I can add to the Rocky Mountain News coverage, except to echo the sentiments of Petty Officer Rick Lopez:
You know, sometimes I wish they would do this for us when we come home alive.Amen, Petty Officr Lopez. You deserve that – and so much more.
Here endeth the lesson.
HT – Hedgehog Lowell