Skip to comments.Healing hearts and minds (Here Doc makes House Calls)
Posted on 09/28/2006 5:29:23 PM PDT by SandRat
HUSAYBA Navy Seaman Samuel L. Blanco is a healer. The hospital corpsman, geared up in layers of body armor, has a bag of tricks he carries that heals not just bumps and bruises, scrapes and cuts, but also relations and trust between Americans and local Iraqis.
During a Sept. 23 patrol with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Blanco provided health care for dozens of Iraqi villagers.
From an American view, it gives us a sense of pride to know that Iraqis would come to us, said Blanco, a 26-year-old from Justin, Texas, assigned to Weapons Company.
He said less than two months ago, at the start of his service under Regimental Combat Team 5, Iraqis in this area west of Fallujah were hesitant to even speak to him or the other Marines. But over time, the mood has changed. Now, instead of leery stares, parents are bringing their children forward to get a once-over from Doc Blanco.
When they get a serious problem they can come to us, said Lance Cpl. Paul J. Burns, a mortarman. Theyre starting to get close to us and recognizing the doc.
Burns said the locals could pick out the Marine's resident medical expert by his calm persona.
Soon as they found out that I was a doc everybody was like, fix me, fix me, bandage, Blanco said.
Blanco said he enjoys regular contact with the Iraqis, while his teammates appreciate the benefits of his relationships.
Docs not afraid to get hands-on with the residents, said Lance Cpl. Liam E. Izar, a mortarman with Weapons Company. "He helps us focus on doing our job."
Devil Docs ... as tender as lambs, as ferocious as lions.