Soldier's Story, Part V- Lifesavers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Special Report--

Soldier's Story, Part V- Lifesavers

Private First Class Nathaniel Knight Private First Class Nathaniel Knight
This Iraqi child was burned by his family's cook stove. This Iraqi child was burned by his family's cook stove.
Not all Iraqis are throwing bombs at Americans Not all Iraqis are throwing bombs at Americans

May 10, 2004

Ft. Benning, GA -- It takes a variety of talents to make an Army run smoothly. While some soldiers are fighting, others are taking care of the sick and injured.

Here is the amazing medical experience of Private First Class Nathaniel Knight. He not only took care of our troops, but he helped little Iraqis survive horrible accidents.

"My name is PFC Knight, I'm with 690th Medical Ground Evac. out of Ft. Benning, Georgia. I was in Iraq, exactly, 347 days, 36 minutes... and I forgot the seconds."

"It started off one or two families would bring in the very sick people, then it started spreading that we would treat them for free."

"I came straight out of AIT, out of training, and rolled straight into a war zone. First time with live ammunition, outside of a range. They hand me five magazines and say 'Jump into the vehicle and drive and don't stop.'"

"I can be in a Black Hawk treating patients, as well as treating them on the front line with the grunts. There is nothing better for a medic than a live bleeding patient. I just thought it was one giant field exercise. As long as I kept that in mind, I didn't sweat the small stuff."


"Strange as it sounds, I went to a foreign country to find out what America was about. A U.S. soldier came in with shrapnel, but that was the worst I saw. I saw that up in Tikrit.

"U.S. Soldiers came first, always, but sometimes we pushed the limit with little kids. The standard of living was very low compared to the United States. They still use propane burners and open fires to cook a meal. We treated, the whole time I was there, somewhere between 20 to 25 kids that suffered anywhere from first degree to almost third degree burns. One child had third degree burns from an oil burn."

"There were a couple of kids who came in with diabetes and epilepsy who have never been treated. Personally, I see my nephews in all of them. Somebody's nephews are saved, somebody's nephew gets to come home. That's what I'm happy about."

"There is rumor my unit will be heading back in a couple of months and I'm trying to volunteer for the detail."

Private First Class Nathaniel Knight says the hardest part treating young sick Iraqis was when they couldn't do anything. Most of the medicines they had were made for infantry adults. He said it was also frustrating when they ran out of supplies.

posted at 5:35PM by dave.miller@walb.com