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Corpsman
The Medal of Honor citation for Fred Faulkner Lester reads in part: Quick to spot a wounded Marine lying in an open field beyond the front lines…Lester unhesitatingly ...

Corpsman

The Medal of Honor citation for Fred Faulkner Lester reads in part:

Quick to spot a wounded Marine lying in an open field beyond the front lines…Lester unhesitatingly crawled toward the casualty under a concentrated barrage from hostile machine guns, rifles, and grenades. Torn by enemy rifle bullets as he inched forward, he stoically disregarded the mounting fury of Japanese fire and his own pain to pull the wounded man toward a covered position.

Fred Lester was one of a special breed of heroes, dear to all Marines: the Navy corpsman. These men served with Marine units in every campaign of World War II, providing life-saving first aid in and beyond the front lines. They became integral parts of the units they served, sharing every hardship and danger. One officer spoke for all Marines with this comment:



Hospital Corpsman Fred Lester (U.S. Navy)

I never saw a Corpsman refuse to go to a Marine’s aid, no matter how exposed the position, even if the wound was assumed to be fatal. No Marine could write about the war without praising the Navy Corpsmen. These men, who had joined the Navy expecting at least warm chow and a good bed, got stuck with dirt, mud, blood, and Marines. They became, however, one of us, much admired for their unceasing courage in coming to our aid. Their casualty rate was just as great as ours.

The Navy Hospital Corps has a long tradition of medical service going back to the beginning of the Navy. Many doctors and corpsmen have served valiantly on ships and in combat area field hospitals. To Marine “grunts” of the past and present, however, medical attention when it counts comes from the “doc,” who always responds to the call, “Corpsman up!” May God continue to bless those who so bravely and selflessly serve their fellow men.

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.

—Luke 10:33–34


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