Why We Marines Love 'Doc'
In the Marine Corps, I first got to experience the power of the Navy Corpsman when I received orders to MCAS Cherry Point. When I was in MARSPTBN, I had to use the Air Force doctors, which are BTW, way better than most Navy docs, but, they can’t beat the Navy Corpsman. While at Cherry Point we have HM1 ‘Doc’ Morales and a flight surgeon. So if we were sick, we first saw the Corpsman and if needed, we would go to ‘Flight Line Medical’, where the flight surgeon assigned to our unit. If you have never been stationed at an air station, then let me tell you to want a flight surgeon is. Flight surgeons are physicians (MDs or DOs) who serve as the primary care physicians for a variety of military aviation personnel on special duty status — e.g., pilots, Flight Officers, navigators/Combat Systems Officers, astronauts, missile combat crews, air traffic controllers, UAV operators, and other aircrew members, both officer and enlisted. In the United States Department of Defense, the Army, Navy, and Air Force all train and utilize flight surgeons. (source)
I remember several times ‘Doc’ Morales, administering IV fluids to Marines for a variety of reasons, yes, this includes some drunk ass jarheads. I have two personal stories dealing with ‘Doc’ and flight line medical. The first was we were all in formation in MOPP level 4, and all I remember was going down like a ton of bricks, this was November 16, 1993 (I know the date, thanks to having to get a copy of all my medical records in order to start the VA disability claim process). I was taken to flight line medical and they recorded a 101 temp. The day started with PT and then the formation. I have never fallen out of formation before in my Marine Corps career and besides being embarrassed I was very confused. It turns out that I was also dehydrated and low and behold I had Chicken Pox. This meant that my MOPP gear had to be destroyed also to stop the spread to anyone who may get the gear next. The mask was soaked and then wiped down and the suit was destroyed by fire. I recall getting to watch it burn at the edge of the flight line. But this was probably the best care that I have ever had while in the military.
My second story deals with the flight surgeon, the ER, and dental. I had just gotten home from a six-month deployment to Japan (it was May 27, 1993). We had spent 23 hours on the plane (there was some silly reason we were not allowed to deplane in Alaska like normal). It was around midnight (we deplaned about six hours prior) and I heard what I thought was one of the cats scratching at the bedroom door. I was in the living room, chilling in the La-Z-Boy recliner. I wasn’t able to sleep since my internal clock is 12 hours off. I stood up to go open the door for the cat and the next thing I know, my wife was standing over me and I was laying butt ass naked, face down on the tile floor. I look up at her all confused and she asks me if I’m OK, and then said that I’m bleeding. I run my tongue over my mouth and feel that my two front teeth are missing. I look down at the floor and sure enough there they are embedded into the linoleum tiles. She and the neighbor (who was her best friend) took me to the ER, who looked me over and sent me to emergency dental. Dental stated that they can put in two fake teeth, but not until the morning. I look over to my wife and she is talking to the Flight Surgeon and ‘Doc’. OMG, they are good.
All said and done, I managed to push my lower teeth through my lower lip and broke my two front teeth off at 45-degree angles causing an inverted ‘V’.
I ran across this great article about ‘Doc’
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. —Navy hospital corpsmen, more commonly known as the “corpsmen.” They wear Marine Corps uniforms but they have never trained at Marine Corps Recruit Depot. They have saved the lives of hundreds of Marines, yet they do not claim the title themselves.
Corpsmen have a long-standing tradition of serving alongside Marines because the Corps does not train medical personnel. They stand as a necessary part of a Marine fleet. Their mission is to prevent or treat any injury Marines may come across in the unpredictable combat zone.
Read the rest of this article at 29 Palms