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The Combat Medic

A battlefield’s a lonely place, each one a fox before the hounds,

sole target of the hunt. Each one a hound, both stalked and stalking.

Each ammo flash, each scream, each moan belongs to all–the air alive

with sound and blood and body parts. A no man’s land of violence.

A bullet finds its home. A fox brought down, a hunter stilled,

alone in pain and shadow, bloody mud and sand, shrouded in mist

and memory. The hunt recedes to stalk another fox.

A healer moves amidst the carnage, seeking out the fallen.

Sure and steady hands find a pulse, probe to stop the life force flowing out.

The touch: “You’re not alone. I’ve found you. We’re here together, you and I.”

Two soldiers finding healing in the chaos.

Combat Medic Memorial Statue, by Bill Walling
Combat Medic Memorial Statue, by Bill walling

The Combat Medic memorial statue is at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. Bill Walling took the photograph in 1988. Other pictures including Bill’s nighttime photo (used in the 25th anniversary of the statue’s dedication) are available at the AMEDD Museum Gift Shop. The poem (sold in combination with a sketch of the statue) is also available for purchase from the AMEDD Medical Museum. Order them by phoning directly at 210-225-0015 or toll free at 1-800-523-0015. FAX: 210-221-6781. Check the web site at http://www.ameddgiftshop.com or email at info@ameddgiftshop.com. People with connections to the military have my permission to use the poem.

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