As a corpsman, Beheler works with a forward surgical team operating a Level 2 care facility at Forward Operating Base Wright in Afghanistanâ€™s Kunar province. The Roanoke, Va., native said he was prepared for many of things he has seen at the facility, and for others, he was not.
â€œItâ€™s been real busy at times,â€ Beheler said. â€œWhen weâ€™ve got operations going on in our area, many casualties will come in through our [facility]. Theyâ€™ll use anyone with medical experience to help, and I really wasnâ€™t prepared for that. Iâ€™m used to seeing things in the field, not seeing things in a clinical setting. That took some getting used to.â€
Beheler, who received an Army Commendation Medal with Valor for saving the life of a fellow provincial reconstruction team member who suffered a gunshot wound, said being on patrols still is the most challenging aspect of his job.
â€œWhen youâ€™re out doing missions, we are that medical asset,â€ Beheler said. â€œI know that I can fight my way to you, treat you and fight my way back with you. Thereâ€™s only one medical corpsman on the crew, so you better know what youâ€™re doing.â€
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Lynn Redman of San Antonio, nurse practitioner with the team, said she's impressed with Behelerâ€™s performance and that she is so confident in the work he does, she would trust him to treat one of her children.
â€œHeâ€™s handled everything very concisely,â€ Redman said. â€œHeâ€™s consistent. Heâ€™s bottom-line. I donâ€™t have to wonder about him. He is my lowest-ranking corpsman, but he is a hard-charger. Heâ€™s very knowledgeable. He should have been a doctor.â€
Beheler said one of the best things heâ€™s experienced has been the people he works with and the friends he made within the unit.
Army Sgt. Patrick Johnson of Worcester, Mass., said Beheler is a good medic and a great listener and learner, and that this experience will help Beheler in the future.
â€œHeâ€™s been a delightful subordinate,â€ Johnson said. â€œHeâ€™s quick to listen, learn and volunteer, and that is at the core of being a great corpsman. Heâ€™s going to leave here with so much knowledge. Heâ€™s also become a close, personal friend of mine. Iâ€™m proud to have met and known him.â€
Beheler said his teammates are great to work with and have made his experience rewarding.
â€œI couldnâ€™t have asked for any better people to work with,â€ Beheler said. â€œThere are three corpsmen and one Army medic. We all have our little specialty. We work really, really well together. Thereâ€™s a mutual respect there that has a lot to do with it, too. We actually care about one another.â€
May 2, 2011: By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chuck Walker- Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team
Redistributed by www.SupportOurTroops.org\