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Small Town To Afghanistan, Sailor Has No Regrets
by Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Monique LaRouche - April 21, 2012

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FORWARD OPERATING BASE EDINBURGH, Afghanistan (4/17/2012) – The call for help comes over the radio and the team prepares for possibly another long day or night.

Seaman Grant Reeder, Shock Trauma Platoon and Forward Resuscitative Surgical Systems from Bravo Company, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), treats a casualty on Forwarding Operating Base Edinburgh, Afghanistan on April 6, 2012. Reeder, who has been in the Navy for more than two years, has no regrets and enjoys being deployed. “This is something I will not forget. The good weighs out the bad,” said Reeder, who was nominated for Blue Jacket Sailor of the Quarter. Photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Monique LaRouche
Seaman Grant Reeder, Shock Trauma Platoon and Forward Resuscitative Surgical Systems from Bravo Company, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), treats a casualty on Forwarding Operating Base Edinburgh, Afghanistan on April 6, 2012. Reeder, who has been in the Navy for more than two years, has no regrets and enjoys being deployed. “This is something I will not forget. The good weighs out the bad,” said Reeder, who was nominated for Blue Jacket Sailor of the Quarter. Photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Monique LaRouche

 Hospitalman Grant Reeder stays calm as he dresses the tables. He enjoys the next few seconds of quiet before the commotion of the crew urgently move in the casualties.

Reeder, a native of Montoursville, Pa., originally wanted to be a master-at-arms, responsible for security and law enforcement. He was studying criminal justice at college before he decided to join the military, but that was not available. After some persuasion from another corpsman, Reeder thought field medic corpsman sounded like something he would like to pursue.

Training for the medical field is a long process, and it takes months to prepare for a deployment. After recruit training, Reeder moved across the street to study at corps school, and then from there he headed to Camp Pendleton, Calif., to study at field medical school. There was a training hiatus before school, so Reeder worked at the hospital, handling medical records, getting more training and finally, to the field medical battalion where he trained with the Marines. This is where he learned all about field medical care.
Since corpsmen embed with the Marines, they do everything the Marines do in the field; land navigation, hiking, going to the range and plenty of physical exercise.

“All the training is definitely worth it. It really does help,” said Reeder.

Being a corpsman, there are many risks, most end up deployed and on the front lines. Reeder is currently deployed with the Shock Trauma Platoon and Forward Resuscitative Surgical Systems from Bravo Company, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), on Forwarding Operating Base Edinburgh, Afghanistan.

“I'm deployed and I love it,” Reeder said. “I wanted to go somewhere and have an influence.”

This was not always the case. Reeder admits he had some fears surrounding deployment, but with some help from his friends and mentors sharing their knowledge and experiences, he was able to overcome them. He is actually looking forward to his next deployment, said Reeder.

Reeder has made such an influence on the command. He was recognized for his dedication. He was selected for the Blue Jacket of the Quarter, which is an award given for seaman and below.

“He is a powerhouse. He is a key player in everything that happens. Whether it is unloading and loading the patients, working in the STP, he is in the mix, making it happen,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Terry Green, senior enlisted FOB Edinburgh, Jackson and Sanguine STPs. “Some people surprise you with what they bring to the table. He was the guy who surprised me.”

Reeder has been in the Navy more than two years and plans on staying in. He would like to pursue a career in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and combine some of his criminal justice education with his experience as a corpsman.

Reeder's biggest influence to join the military was from his uncle who retired after 33 years in the Navy as a culinary specialist. His uncle shared his world travels with Reeder. He told him about Europe and what life was like aboard ship. Reeder often thought this was something he would like to do.

After Reeder's first year of college, his uncle's life was suddenly taken from him. He was struck head-on in an automobile accident. This tragic loss affected his family tremendously. Reeder was close with his uncle. During his next semester of college, Reeder had a hard time focusing. He knew he wanted to do something different. He wanted to honor his uncle and joining the military just made sense.

“He influenced me a lot,” said Reeder. “This is what he would want me to do.”

And Reeder is happy he made this choice.

Reeder is on the right path and giving back every day. He likes the camaraderie of the unit and being with Marines.

“As long as you are around a good group of people, it does not feel like you are in another country or a war zone,” said Reeder.

Reeder has accomplished so much in such a short time in the Navy. He went from a small town of Pennsylvania, where everyone knows everyone, to the big city of Chicago for school, and then out to sunny California where going to the ocean is something Reeder does any chance he gets, to being out in the field saving lives. His confidence has grown since he first came in and he puts his knowledge and skills to use every day.

“It gives me faith that the Navy will continue, and good things will happen to the Navy and our country, when I look at guys like that,” said Green.

By Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Monique LaRouche
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2012

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