Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Prediction: Dubya won't be flying around the world with his Halliburton turkey Happy Thanksgiving! this year: Happy Thanksgiving to our troops, from everyone in the Bush administration, Republican congressional leaders, Halliburton, Antonin Scalia, and those 31 Red States! FALLUJAH, Iraq -- The first time Jose Ramirez saw a human body ripped apart by a rocket, it took hours for him to regain his composure. Nothing in his training as a Navy medical corpsman had prepared him for the sight of the dead Marine brought in September to the military field hospital outside Fallujah.
"I walked around in shock," said Ramirez, 26, of San Antonio, a Navy petty officer third class attached to Bravo Surgical Company. "I've seen people die before on the emergency room table. But what I was trying not to do, what I was trained not to do, is look at the patient with tunnel vision. It reminded me that I had to get prepared."
Two months later, when the first wounded American and Iraqi troops arrived at the hospital after storming Fallujah, Ramirez had braced for the worst.
"It doesn't hit me when I'm working on a patient. But after we're cleaning up, and I see the blood on the floor or I see someone bagging a piece of arm or leg, I know it's going to be in my mind for the rest of my life," Ramirez said.
Fifty-one U.S. troops have been killed and 425 wounded since the ground assault on this insurgent stronghold began on Nov. 8.
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John O'Neill: The man who knew
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