Operation Tribute to Freedom

Faces From the Front for January 31, 2011 - Sgt. Tyler Adams

Sergeant Tyler Adams

Current Unit: 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Current Position: Medical Supply Sergeant
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Iraq
Hometown: Brigham City, Utah
Years of Service: 4

The continued deployment of U.S. Army troops in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn makes medical assistance a critical need. During deployments, Soldiers suffer from illness and injury, and rely on Army medics to help them overcome these issues.

Sgt. Tyler Adams is currently serving as the medical supply sergeant at a battalion aid station outside Amarah, Iraq. In this role, Adams treats sick and wounded Soldiers and refers troops to alternate healthcare professionals and specialists when needed. He takes pride in knowing his work provides care for numerous Soldiers, while contributing to success in Iraq.

“It is fulfilling to know that I help keep Soldiers healthy enough to continue their mission,” Adams explained. “If the injury or illness prevents the Soldier from staying in the fight, I am always happy knowing that I am doing everything I can to get that Soldier back to their family.”

Having served two previous deployments to Iraq, Adams has experienced the vast changes resulting from the withdrawal of troops and transfer of responsibility to the Iraqi government. Soldiers must follow a stricter protocol as the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police take control of the territory. Similarly, Adams has also seen firsthand the new ailments that Soldiers are facing as a result of serving multiple tours.

“During this deployment, most of the issues we see are musculoskeletal issues,” Adams said. “Soldiers that have joint pain or injuries from prior deployments make up the bulk of what we see.”

Adams’ battalion aid station is located in a standard Army tent, which is 50 feet by 20 feet. Inside, the tent has two trauma stations set to handle emergencies, and staff managing daily sick call operations. When Adams is not treating a patient, it is his duty to oversee the supplies at the station and make sure all medication and equipment is readily available.

“Obtaining some types of supplies can be difficult,” Adams said. “Many of the medical providers assigned here have been able to utilize alternative medications and supplies to treat our patients. If additional care is not obtainable at our location, the Soldier is then evacuated to higher echelons of care. Even though some things are not available or are difficult to obtain, we are still able to provide care for our Soldiers resulting in a 98% return to duty status.”

Adams and his medical team have learned to work with whatever equipment is available to them. They have become skilled at improvising when needed to ensure each Soldier is provided the best health care possible. While this can be stressful, Adams has learned to keep composure while dealing with his demanding tasks.

“This deployment has definitely helped me gain more patience,” Adams said. “All of the minor frustrations encountered as we seek the best care for our Soldiers have made me calmer in stressful situations. I have learned to accomplish more with less, when it comes to minor surgical procedures.”

Over the years, Adams has treated hundreds of patients suffering from a wide range of injuries and illnesses in Iraq. However, one of his most defining moments took place during his last deployment from in 2007.

“I was treating an Iraqi Soldier who had suffered multiple blast injuries,” Adams explained. “In the middle of my treatment, he lifted his head to kiss my cheek and thank me. With the amount of pain he was in, that was a huge token of his appreciation, and I will never forget it.”

Adams is scheduled to return to the U.S. this spring. He looks forward to spending time with his wife and two sons.

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