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Lance Cpl. Corey M. Ayers, a motor transportation operator with 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), receives a smallpox vaccine at the Combined Aid Station aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 26, 2010. The corpsmen at the CAS have the arduous task of keeping track of medical records, making sure the Marines and sailors are up to date with their vaccines and ensuring the Group is ready to deploy. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Bruno J. Bego)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Bruno J. Bego

Devil docs keep devil dogs from burning up

26 Jan 2011 | Lance Cpl. Bruno J. Bego

Wherever Marines go, an equally formidable group of warriors known as Navy corpsmen are at their side; committed to maintaining their counterparts’ health and saving their lives.

Corpsmen, with the Combined Aid Station, 2nd Marines Logistics Group (Forward), are responsible for making sure Marines and sailors within the unit are healthy and ready to deploy.

A large part of this task in ensuring medical records is up to date and complete.

“We have it set up like an assembly line so everyone has a task and a job they do,” explained Petty Officer 1st Class Brian A. Carr, an independent duty corpsman with the CAS, 2nd MLG (FWD). “Once we get through the initial flood of patients, we have to go back and enter it all in the system to make sure we keep a record for future reference.”

During their normal routine, the “docs” care for patients, and provide them with necessary shots and medicines to protect them from the life-threatning health hazards of Afghanistan.

Once the Group arrives in Afghanistan, new challenges may arise for the medical crew comprised of only 21 sailors.

“The biggest challenge, I think, will be a sailor in the desert among a sea of Marines, but the sailors I work with love working with Marines,” Carr explained. “They are the perfect patients, they are more active than the general public, therefore they are healthier than our civilian counterparts.”

“Plus, it's also a lot of fun to make fun of them as well,” he joked. High morale is an expectation, but in the long term the crew is looking forward to having a successful deployment.

“I expect to return with all the Marines and sailors of the unit, and I hope they have a good experience in Afghanistan,” Carr said. “I have been told that it's not a job, it's an adventure.”

With a year-long tour ahead, the sailors are ready to take care of any situation that may arise as they settle in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

“Our main mission is to make sure our Marines and sailors are in good health and ready to accomplish the mission,” said Seaman Apprentice Jeffrey C. Ford, a corpsman with the CAS, 2nd MLG (FWD). “It’s going to be a lot of work, and we are expecting long hours, but we have a great team going out there.”

As the departure nears, corpsmen with the CAS continue to work hard to provide the Marines and sailors of the unit with the best medical service they can.

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