SP6 LAWRENCE JOEL
HHC 1st BN, 503rd Inf.
173rd Airborne Brigade
Republic of Vietnam
8 Nov 1965
SP6 (then SP5) Joel, a Medic operating with a Company of Paratroopers when a numerically superior and well-concealed Viet Cong element launched an attack. Nearly every man in Joel’s unit, including Joel himself was wounded or killed.
SP6 Joel was struck in the leg by a large caliber round while he bravely moved forward to assist others who were wounded. In spite of being painfully wounded Joel’s commitment to his brother Paratroopers transcended everything else.
He treated his own wounds then continued to brave enemy fire to treat and recover other wounded Americans.
The young Medic constantly shouted words of encouragement to all around him as he continued his search for wounded.
Joel continual exposed himself to hostile fire as he held plasma bottles high while kneeling completely engrossed in his life-saving mission.
Joel was wounded a 2nd time and, with a bullet lodged in his thigh, he dragged himself over the battlefield to treat 13 more men before his medical supplies ran out.
Using the initiative and resourcefulness Paratroopers are known for SP6 Joel saved the life of 1 man by placing a plastic bag over a sucking chest wound to congeal the blood.
Restocked with medical supplies, SP6. Joel crawled through intense gunfire and continued to treat wounded men.
Throughout the 24hr long battle, SP6. Joel never let up in his mission as a Combat Medic. He continued to comfort and treat the wounded until his own evacuation was ordered.
* My thoughts on Combat Medics, –