Spc. Matthew Mortensen is a combat medic, charged with providing aid to wounded front line soldiers, but that was no protection against harm. He was shot by a sniper while on patrol in Baghdad on December 10th (2009).
“After I was shot, I had my platoon sergeant examine for a wound and he found one on my right shoulder blade,” said Mortensen. “Then I jumped into the truck, threw off my kit because I couldn’t reach my right side with my kit on. After I took it off, I started cleaning up some of the blood with gauze then I used the package for the gauze and created a pressure dressing over the wound just in case it penetrated my chest cavity. I didn’t know what happened to the bullet so that was the only thing I was really worried about”
Mortensen even directed his own medical evacuation. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a Combat Medical Badge the next day. Mortensen is now recovering in the US and expects to be back in Iraq in February (2010)