Friday, November 10, 2006
How the Iraq war changed a Marine
It isn't unusual to hear songs these days questioning war and violence. What is unusual is to have them written and performed by a Marine veteran with combat experience.
Josh Hisle is a 24-year-old former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq. He says he did not try to keep count of the number of people he may have killed in battle.
Make no mistake. Hisle doesn't regret his service and he fully supports the military. But after spending time at war, he's begun to wonder what impact the United States is having in Iraq.
Hisle says his mood changed while in Ramadi in 2004. He said many people there who once greeted American forces as liberators wanted them to leave. He saw Marines attacked on a daily basis. At the same time, he longed to return home to see his newborn son and his wife, but never thought he'd leave Iraq alive.
Armed with some melodies and a whole lot of war experience, Hisle put his thoughts to music. He has created an album of love, loss and regret for some of the things he's had to do.
Taking the stage at Allyn's Cafe in Cincinnati, Ohio, earlier this week, Hisle played for a cheering crowd. Click the image above to watch a clip of him performing his song, "A Traitor's Death." There's more about him and his music on his Web site: myspace.com/lostinholland
I find it interesting to hear Hisle try to reconcile two very different aspects of his life -- as a family man and a Marine -- through his music. What do you think?
Some resources for veterans
Post-traumatic stress disorder
DOD 24-hr hotline: 800-342-9647 Military OneSource Family counselingStrong Bonds
DOD 24-hr hotline: 800-342-9647 HomelessnessNational Coalition for Homeless Veterans
NCHV hotline: 800-838-4357 Employment Department of Veterans Affairs Hire Vets First Military Job Zone
Combat medics train to save lives on battlefield
Seeing a soldier cry is an unsettling experience, no matter the circumstances. I walked into the bathroom at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and saw three young, uniformed women shedding tears over the sinks. These soldiers were in the middle of their 16 weeks of combat medic training.
Judging from their conversation, they had just come from an embassy bombing, a simulated scenario of a bombing, that is. Eight medics rush in to care for 13 "casualties" in low light and loud noise. They had made several mistakes. Some patients didn't make it. Fortunately, here in training, the patients are plastic mannequins.
The U.S. Army is training more combat medics faster and harder than ever before. The days here are grueling: 4:30 a.m. rise and shine for the medics in training; 5:30 a.m. physical training; 7:30 a.m. breakfast; class from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; 9:30 p.m. lights out.
These medics have to absorb an incredible amount of information and skill in a short period of time. In just 16 weeks, they are expected to have the same psychomotor skills as a second-year medical resident.
In many ways, the combat medic training program is a testament to the cold fact that war often brings medical advances. Doctors, nurses, medics, combat lifesavers are all forced to innovate under the extreme conditions of battlefield medicine. The good news in this war is that the rate of soldiers being killed on the battlefield is lower and the rate of recovery higher than ever before due to innovative approaches.
In our report linked above, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spends time in combat medic training. We explain how the program, along with new products and groundbreaking research, is helping to save more lives on the battlefield and eventually back at home.
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Thursday, November 09, 2006
Remembering Ed Bradley
Today we learned that a remarkable journalist has died. I was actually at "60 Minutes" in the middle of a screening when they got the call that Ed Bradley had died from leukemia.
I didn't know Ed personally. We'd only met once in passing, but I think all of us who watched him on "60 Minutes" feel like we knew him.
He was a trailblazer who started working for CBS in Paris in 1971. He then went to Vietnam and also covered the war in Cambodia. I remember watching some of his old reports when CBS re-aired them on their short-lived cable channel. He always got close to the action and, in fact, was wounded in Cambodia by a mortar round.
Ed Bradley had been at "60 Minutes" for 25 years, and it's hard to imagine the program without him. He was a scrupulously honest reporter, and always seemed to be a truly decent man.
He listened to those he interviewed, and the conversations were real. I recently saw the piece he did with producer John Hamlin profiling Muhammad Ali. There is a great moment when Ali pretends to fall asleep at a meal and then surprises Ed. The whole table breaks out laughing, and watching at home it was hard not to laugh along with them.
It is hard to believe Ed Bradley is gone.
Hot Links: Some stories we're following today
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Hot Links: Stories we're watching