Medics return home from nine-month deployment in Afghanistan - WRBL

Medics return home from nine-month deployment in Afghanistan

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FORT BENNING, Ga. -

Men and women from the 14th Combat Support Hospital came home from Afghanistan, and the medics that left nine months ago celebrated some impressive accomplishments.

It's always good to hear that every troop in a unit made it back home in one piece, but these soldiers helped bring home even more. Unit Commander COL William Drennon says, "It's hazardous, so to be able to bring them all home again to their families is a huge accomplishment, very proud of that."

The 14th CSH spent nine months working with over 35,000 troops in Afghanistan. They performed surgeries, X-rays, gave immunizations and more, all with a 98% survival rate of their patients.

And they even helped over 1500 military dogs that were injured in the fight. But it didn't stop there. They were instrumental in helping Afghan animals with a variety of needs.

44th Medical Brigade Commander COL Jeff Johnson says, "For us to be there supporting their herds, immunizing them, taking care of whatever problems take place is something that is unquestionably a motivator for the Afghans to be able to see their future and to move forward in stability and in peace."

Medics are an important part of the Army. When men and women in the field get hurt, they rely on these experts to get them better, and Elizabeth Mokler's brother provided another kind of service.

"I'm sure that he provided so much for people," says Mokler. "I know that he was probably the comic relief, he's always been the class clown, so I know that he probably helped people feel at home and feel relaxed. That's just kind of the presence he gives. He's very laid back, so I know that was probably much needed over there with all the stress."

The unit traveled around the country in a variety of dangerous conditions. Veteran Jesus Alvarado says there's nothing better than saving lives and honoring America. "I'm feeling very proud, very patriotic. I'm glad everybody's home, everybody's home safe, and let's bring everybody else home."

This is the unit's third deployment to Southwest Asia. They also traveled to News Orleans in 2005 to assist after Hurricane Katrina.

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