Sgt. 1st Class Nathan L. Winder, a Special Forces medical sergeant with C Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, was killed in action June 26 2007 from small arms fire north of Dinwaniyah, Iraq. His team was assisting another U.S. Army element as a member of a special forces quick reaction force.
“He was one of the most caring guys I had,” said Dale Betz, manager of new market development. “He was like the kid brother who always wants to help out.”
While out on a patrol, Winder noticed an Iraqi girl with a large gash on her cheek who was being refused treatment at an Iraqi clinic. Even though it wasn’t their responsibility, Winder decided he was going to treat the girl and asked his guys to secure a perimeter around him. Once secure, he stitched the girl’s cheek and cleaned the wound while in front of the clinic, ignoring the dangers of being attacked and the extreme heat that they faced, said Betz.
“As a Soldier, he was like the athlete who was calm and collected enough to make the game-winning impossible shot, and he did it while actually being shot at,” said Betz. “He did amazing things time and time again. He did things that made you say, ‘that could never be repeated,’ but he did it again and again.”
The new Army clinic dedicated to Winder is the first clinic on Joint Base Lewis-McChord to be awarded Leed Gold, an award given to environmentally friendly structures. It is also the first Army clinic to combine medical and dental capabilities into one facility.
The Winder Family Clinic uses new technologies like its solar powered water heating system to do its part to meet the Army’s goal of completely moving away from fossil fuels, which improves the care of soldiers and their families by giving them the most up to date care available while helping the environment for the future.
Though Winder will not have the opportunity to treat any patients at this new clinic, it is because of him and soldiers like him that the Army is able to continue to strive for a better future for everyone.