By Ms. Maria Yager (Army Medicine)November 9, 2017
Soldiers from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital participated in a Veterans Day celebration with students and guests at a Clarksville middle school Nov. 8.
The group of Army doctors, nurses and medics joined Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts, District 67, as guests of honor during the school-wide assembly at Northeast Middle School. The purpose was to honor veterans and teach the students about Army Medicine. The BACH team spoke about their military service, medical careers for Soldiers and civilians in the Army, and had student volunteers participate in a simulated combat medical evacuation to learn about the job of an Army medic.
BACH's team, which consisted of two doctors, two nurses and two medics, spoke to the students about Army Medicine opportunities on a military post and in the field. A combat medic dressed in "battle rattle" showed the audience how medics provide care for wounded Soldiers and evacuate the injured. After the demonstration it was the students turn to try. Each Soldier from the hospital partnered with students to teach them how to apply bandages, stop bleeding, apply a splint and work together to evacuate a casualty on a stretcher.
"I think the reception today was really good. The kids were pretty energetic to say the least. They enjoyed it, especially the hands-on part when we let them carry the litters or stretchers and bandage each other up. They could really see what a medic or doctor or nurse in the field does," said Col. Troy Prairie, BACH chief of primary care.
"The most impressive thing I saw was how they helped the Soldiers, like if they have wounds, injuries. The thing I really like about the medic is that they help people when they are hurt. That would be bad if we didn't have any," said sixth-grade student Jasmine Lamborn.
Fellow sixth-grader Jerry Coppage was a volunteer stretcher bearer in the demonstration and said it was a cool experience to learn how to care for a wounded person. Coppage, whose grandfather, great grandfather and great-uncle served in the military, said the assembly was a good way to recognize veterans. "I thought it was a good thing to thank and appreciate our military men and women for protecting us and making sure we still have our freedom."
A number of Northeast Middle School parents and family members who serve or served in the military also attended the assembly as special guests. They were recognized for their service and treated to patriotic performances by the school band, choir and step team.
"I think it was very amazing. We don't see a lot of this anymore. I think the school definitely did a great job preparing the student performers and reaching out to the community to bring a good set of doctors and nurses to come out here to give the presentation to the kids," said Northeast Middle School parent Staff Sgt. Alejandrina Carrillo, a unit supply specialist assigned to 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division Artillery Brigade -- "Red Knights". Carrillo and her husband, Master Sgt. Victor Carrillo, a maintenance control sergeant with the Red Knights, both recently returned from a nine-month deployment and were happy to have the opportunity to see their daughter perform in the school's choir.
"I love that they had a variety of activities. The kids did great with their performances, the choir, the band, the step team was amazing and the little program we put together. We really wanted to engage the kids so they could see a little bit of what we do," said Capt. Sarah Stubbs, head nurse at Byrd Family Medical Home. Stubbs was part of the BACH team that spoke during the program and shared how she came to become an Army nurse. Like the rest of the hospital participants, Stubbs said she enjoyed the opportunity to meet with the students, school staff and guests.
While the school ceremony was arranged in honor of Veterans Day, recognition was shared with spouses, children, extended family members and those supporters of our veterans.
"It's important for us to stop, if not just for a moment, or for an hour like today, to see what our military does. We must also say thank you to all the veterans and families because families also serve and sacrifice by allowing their loved ones to go off to war, or be deployed or (go to) training, so, just thank you," said Representative Pitts.