Alaska paratrooper gives blood, saves Afghan man's life
October 4, 2012
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- A U.S. Army paratrooper with the Alaska-based 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division gave the gift of life to an Afghan man shot by an unknown assailant at a wedding party in Ali Kheyl village, Paktya province, Sept. 21.
After initial treatment at a local Afghan hospital, the staff there realized the man's wounds were too severe for their care. Afghan security forces brought him to Combat Outpost Herrera for further medical care.
The U.S. medical staff there immediately began treatment and determined he was at risk of death from loss of blood.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Molczyk immediately volunteered to donate his blood in an attempt to save the wounded man's life.
"They said he was going to kick it if they don't get some A positive blood into him," Molczyk said. "I was A positive, so I took my top off, jumped in and gave [the medical staff] a pint of blood."
Soon after the blood transfusion was complete, the medical staff determined that the patient was stable and could be transported to an Afghan National Army hospital in Gardez for further treatment.
Afghan Border Police 1st Lt. Iqbal Mohammad and the man's cousin, Jalal, both said they were not surprised that Molczyk was so quick to donate blood. They said U.S. and Afghan forces have built an unbreakable bond and become brothers over the last 10 months.
"Honestly, we have built a really good bond with these guys out here," Molczyk said. "I didn't really think about it much. I know Jalal would have done the same for me. Numerous times during this deployment we've gotten into contact, and I can legitimately say that guy has saved American Soldiers' lives, if not my own, on an occasion or two."
"It wasn't even a question of 'Should I do this?' or anything like that," he said. "It was whatever I could do to help. He actually ended up making it, which is a good story."
"We keep hearing stuff about green on blue in the news and how it's affecting our missions out here, but I trust most of these AUP guys as much as I trust my NCOs."