Doc Bronson (Vietnam)
1. I served in the Vietnam War from 8/66 to 1/68. I was an Infantry Platoon Medic for 10 months and then a Medic with a LRRP Team (Long Range Recon Patrol - precursors to the Rangers) for 8 months. I served with Co A, 2/1, 196th Light Infantry Brigade and the Brigade LRRP Detachment. The 196th was in III Corp (Tay Ninh) from 8/66 to 4/67 when we moved north to I Corp (Chu Lai) as part of Task Force Oregon made up of the 196th, and Brigade from the 101st and the 1st Cav.
2. When I enlisted in the Army, I had requested to be a Medic. My training consisted of a rather poor first course at Ft Sam Houston in San Antonio Texas. The training was 10 weeks long.
3. I was a 91B20 Field Medic. Medics also worked in Batalion Aid Stations and hospitals. The nickname given to Medics and Corpsmen was DOC, not to be confused with being a medical doctor.
4. Most of the injuries I had to treat were injuries caused by small arms fire and shrapnel.
5. I carried an Aid Bag which contained everything from bandages to a surgical kit to salt tabs to morphine - I had to be prepared to deal with an injury quickly (and not necessarily neatly) and get the wounded back to a hospital.
6. Guys in your platoon would look out for you because they knew if they were wounded, you would go to help them. Medics were fair game for enemy soldiers - no special treatment there...as a matter of fact if you carried your aid bag where it could be seen, this marked you as a Medic and you became a prime target for the enemy.
7. I saved a lot, but lost a lot too. 23 names on the Wall in Washington DC represent those I couldn't save - thus the high incidence of guilt.
8. The Medic was just another grunt rifleman until someone was injured. Once there were injured to be cared for, they became the Medics only priority.
9. Prisoners of War taken by out troops were given the same medical treatment given to wounded American servicemen.
10. I will have to give the "Medic Stories" a little more thought and will get back to you. Please understand that it can be extremely painful torelive the events of over 30 years ago.
11. Gunny Hero of the Meadow award was given to me by Gunny Fallon of Operation Just Cause for the work I am doing for POW/MIAs.
If more info is needed, please don't hesitate to get back to me.