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
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.
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
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.
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
“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
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