Wow – Above and Beyond

06.02.11 | Comment?

On a Thursday back in 2006, Private Channing Moss was manning the gun on his unit’s Humvee in Afghanistan when they were ambushed. In the midst of the battle, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired into the vehicle, striking Moss.

He should have died instantly, but he didn’t. The grenade didn’t go off. Instead it lodged in his body.

His commanding officer called for a medevac helicopter, leaving out the unfortunate fact that Moss could blow up and kill everyone around him at any time. The helicopter crew found out when they arrived; Army policy forbids carrying a wounded man with ordnance in his body.

They took him anyway.

There’s an Army protocol for surgery involving unexploded ordance; had the doctors at the aid station followed it, Moss would have bled to death. Instead of isolating him and operating on the other wounded soldiers first, they ordered all nonessential personnel out of the building and started in without delay.

You can guess the rest. They saved Moss, who was still gravely wounded but out of danger. After several months of recovery and rehabilitation he was able to walk to receive his Purple Heart.

Yeah, they did the same thing once on an episode of M*A*S*H, and later on Grey’s Anatomy, but I’m a sucker for stories like this. To save Private Moss, a lot of people risked their lives when they didn’t have to. But I guess that’s what they do.

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