Army Veteran, Soldier Perseveres to Earn EFMB Despite Losing Left Foot in Combat
June 4, 2014
***Capt. Erick Lund, Wounded Warrior and Dental Corps officer from the Fort Sam Houston DENTAC, tells his story and the journey leading up to the Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB).***
Waiting for the MedEvac I laid prostrate on the stretcher, ever so close to the burning Iraqi sand. Nine pieces of molten, bullet like shrapnel had just penetrated my body and my life was literally hanging in the balance.
The year was 2005. I had been manning the .50 cal machine gun as a mechanized infantryman when
three IEDs exploded with my vehicle in between them. With the hands of skilled medical professionals and a modern miracle, my life was spared with the loss of my left foot as the only permanent consequence of being attacked that day. An experence like that can change a person's life. It changed mine. To me the Army became something deeper, something I now truly belonged to.
Since that day with my wife as my rock, I was able to stay in the Army, learn to snowboard, run a marathon, compete in a triathlon, raise our three children, complete dental school, and most recently receive the EFMB. Ten years ago the training given in that course saved my life, and that thought alone motivated me every day as I gave my all to earn the coveted badge.
The road march was the pinnacle moment of the experience. Every step I took hurt while carrying the required load on my back and shoulders, but I didn't care. This was something I had to do. I had to do it for me, and any Soldier I might need to treat someday in the future. I was just grateful for the chance to be a part of such a fantastic group of people training, learning and becoming.
My efforts were personally dedicated to Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Wood who was killed in action July 16, 2005, while he sat in the front passenger seat of my HUMVEE. He was the ideal soldier and is greatly missed.
"It is poignant and humbling, as Capt. Lund demonstrates the absolute selfless service, dedication, and servant leadership that we see in our Warriors. Capt. Lund's story inspires and his passion for the Army comes through loud and clear. He truly honored Sgt. 1st Class Wood in both his actions and words, and I think that Capt. Lund's story needs to be told." - Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho