News / Asia

    In Afghanistan, US Pilots Aim to Save Lives, Win Hearts

    Medevac units play a crucial role in Afghanistan, providing emergency care and transportation to injured soldiers, and to Afghan civilians
    Medevac units play a crucial role in Afghanistan, providing emergency care and transportation to injured soldiers, and to Afghan civilians

    Multimedia

    Sam Beattie

    In July, the U.S military recorded its highest monthly death toll in the nine-year Afghanistan war. As the casualty rate steadily climbs, army medical evacuation units play an increasingly vital role in the war - both in saving soldiers lives, and in the battle for Afghan hearts, by helping injured civilians. Sam Beattie reports from southern Afghanistan.

    The emergency call has come, and a U.S. Army medevac team is preparing to take off.  This is Charlie Company of the 6th Battalion, 101st Aviation Brigade and the crew has 15 minutes from the time they get the call to get in the air.  Their goal: to get the injured person to medical care within what trauma experts call the golden hour, when the chance of survival is highest.

    This time they are picking up an injured Afghan soldier.  He has extensive damage to his legs, from stepping on one of the thousands of land mines that litter the land.

    Sergeant Andrew Harding uses his 14 years of experience as a medic to keep the man alive until he can get to a hospital.  Although he is still alive when they arrive, the soldier dies on the operating table.

    "It's an awesome feeling when you can scoop them up from the roadside when they are blown up and save their life, keep them alive, until [we] can get to a higher echelon of care, but unfortunately for every 10 saves you make, you lose that one person and that's what you dwell on, the guys you lost," said Sergeant Harding.  

    This unit has flown over 100 missions since they arrived here in March.  Medevac units play a crucial role in this war, providing emergency care and transportation to injured soldiers, and to Afghan civilians.

    Major Russ Hiedel explains that the military hopes by providing advanced medical care in this remote part of the country, it will help win support from the population.

    "The purpose of the mission is to protect the population and build the capacity," said Major Hiedel.  "I believe that providing those services, it shows good faith and intentions and it's just the right thing to do in most cases, is to provide those services."

    This 20-year-old Afghan woman has a skull fracture and a broken leg and arm. Her child has facial lacerations.

    The medics are unsure how she was hurt, but suspect she was in a car accident, or a vehicle that hit a roadside bomb.  Her grandparents look on anxiously as they are transported to a more advanced hospital.

    "More often than not, I've been thanked by a local's family member, a father, a uncle of a child or whoever the familial escort is, they shake your hand, give you a kiss on the cheek, so in that isolated case, they go back to their village and say the Americans did this, the Americans did that and hopefully they will be a little more receptive to helping us out when we need their help trying to catch bad guys," added Sergeant Harding.

    The war in Afghanistan is entering its ninth year, and thousands of soldiers and civilians have lost their lives.  With no end in sight, the medevac units stand by for their next call.

    You May Like

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border From Mexico

    In remote areas of the Sonoran Desert, which straddles the US-Mexico, thousands of migrants face arid desolation

    Video Recycling is Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    It's an ancient craft that stretches back millennia - but despite Lebanon’s trash crisis providing a lifeline, remaining glass blowers face an uncertain future

    Meet the Alleged Killer of Cambodia’s Kem Ley

    What little is known about former soldier, troublesome Buddhist monk and indebted gambler, raises more questions than answers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora