A tribute to all corpsmen, Angels of the battlefield. This is my debut non-fiction, based on a true story. Also available on Amazon as ebook and hardcover.
There comes a time when a man comes face to face with the greatest challenge of his life. This is history in story form, magic in words. Read and be lifted into another realm of reality. See the war through the eyes of one of the most decorated and honored men to walk the battlefield.
Foreword by Col(Ret) Don Ballard Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.
This was an important book to write because the Marine Corps and Navy Corpsmen have a relationship, which is little understood. Corpsmen have been marked as personnel who carry a very heavy burden – but receive little credit. Corpsmen go above and beyond the call of duty more often than not; we understand and live the principles of self-sacrifice all day. Every single time a Marine dies from wounds suffered during battle, he does so in the arms of a Corpsman. What people do not know is that the Corpsman has to suppress his pain so he may be able to do his job; he is not subject to the same laws as everyone else– he has to recreate his reality to master and understand the ending of life, and sometimes the afterlife. Marines go out to battle to kill – but the Corpsmen must keep in mind two precepts: 1) to save; 2) and if necessary, to kill to protect. When a Corpsman reaches out to a dying Marine, he experiences something deep and mysterious beyond himself. The ghost stories that we carry are profound and can be nerve racking. Each death we pray witness over is akin in agony to a man losing a brother. For instance, I carry with myself the screams of the dying and suffering. What we deal with – and what the world does not see is how this changes our lives. From civilian, to military, to Corpsman… this is what has transformed me into what I am today. To experience life at this level and intensity was the key to my awakening to who I was born to be. When a Marine dies on our watch, we lose something of ourselves, too. More than that, it is a piece of our soul that goes with those that are parting. The pain is incessant. What we go through … we never discuss. To deal with this kind of pain, I tried smoking, alcohol, women, partying and other remedies. … All these superficial behaviors never worked for me. This book is very significant not only for me but for every Corpsman out there who shares the same background. It is a story that must be told at length, and whose time has come; I hope this brings much illumination to the reader.
This is a book not designed to invoke tears or fears – rather it is written with a sense of honor. There is little doubt that war is hell – I have seen it with my own eyes, lived it breathed it. The world that Luke will present to the reader is one not for the faint of heart; the battlefield is a monstrous landscape which few can imagine or handle.
With this in mind, and to that end, we shall now enter the world of a courageous FMF Corpsman Luke One.
-Colonel Don “Doc” Ballard (Medal of Honor Recipient) – 8404