Skip to content

Red Air: America’s Medevac Failure

2011-09-17-221447cc1000

2011-09-18-002510cc1000

Although Chazray had answered that he was okay, everyone here knows that when someone calls out “I’m okay,” the sound of their voice only means they are still alive.  Fellow Soldiers located Chazray in the dark, and quickly put on tourniquets and unfolded a stretcher. I was not in the dust-filled area, but I could see brave men come out of it, carrying Chazray back over dangerous ground.  I heard Chazray say his arm tourniquet was too tight. He was in great pain. Through night vision I saw an Afghan Soldier rush in to help carry Chazray.

2011-09-18-002725cc1000

Specialist Chazray was fully conscious and talking the entire time while being medically treated and moved.

2011-09-18-003524cc1000

The Soldiers took Chazray back to the landing zone where we had just come in.

2011-09-18-003851cc1000

We waited.

2011-09-18-004022cc1000

And waited.  Some Afghans slipped off to pray in the dark despite that the surrounding areas were not “cleared.”  (The next day during this mission, an ANA Soldier stepped into an uncleared area and was killed instantly.)

2011-09-18-004254cc1000Sergeant Carroll taking a knee and surveying the surround area.

Sergeant Carroll was so deaf from the bomb blast that he didn’t seem to hear anything, but he stayed alert and on his job pulling security.  At one point, an officer tried to talk with him, and a buddy of his said something like, “Sir, he can’t hear.  He’s deaf.”  And that’s how it went.  When someone wanted to communicate with Sergeant Carroll, they had to grab him and speak loudly in his face.

2011-09-18-010314cc1000Signaling the helicopter

The medevac was very late.  It took us about 20 minutes to get back to the Landing Zone (LZ).  Based on my significant experience down here in southern Afghanistan, I know that the helicopter could and should have already been on orbit waiting for us.  Chazray was dying but fully conscious and talking the entire time.  We waited, and waited.  Finally a radio call came that the medevac was “wheels up” from KAF.  It was unbelievable to us that the medevac was just taking off from Kandahar Airfield, twenty-five miles away.

The problem was that this was an Army Dustoff medevac, and Army medevacs don’t carry machine guns because they have red crosses emblazoned on the sides and front.  When our helicopters sport the red crosses, they can’t carry offensive weapons.  This is meaningless anyway because they are accompanied by an Apache attack helicopter, which is fully loaded with a cannon and missiles.

Delivering accurate information is not Free. Your support makes it possible.

Your gifts ensure that you will continue to get unfiltered reports of what’s happening on the front lines of this fight for freedom. This will be a long journey. The struggle is just beginning. I am asking you for your support. Thank you.

2 Comments

  1. This made my entire body cringe. I literally hurt for that incredibly brave soldier. Our brave soldiers deserve the best, not better, the best! If there is anything a single person can do, we should do it. Though it’s not timely enough for Chazray Clark, who I don’t think I’ll ever forget, I will, at the very least, call my representatives and request they address this inexcusable situation.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Engage The Mission

Support The Mission

Join The Mission

Join Michael on Locals
Follow Michael on Gettr
Follow Michael on Twitter
Follow Michael on Facebook

Email (Dispatch) List

First Name(Required)