Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Review: My Journey As A Combat Medic By Patrick Thibeault


By:  Patrick Thibeault

Published:  July 24, 2012


My Journey as a Combat Medic is a no-holds-barred look at the modern medic in the US Army, allowing us a glimpse at the training as a soldier and as a specialist, as well as deployment and front line duties and the impact of service on civilian life, including an honest look at PTSD, from the author's own personal experience. Rather than a technical manual, My Journey as a Combat Medic is a detailed firsthand account, concluding with a letter to new medics, providing a career's worth of advice and knowledge as they begin their journeys. This book is about the soldiers who bring compassion and humanity to the battlefield.

I'm reading this as part of a book tour with Virtual Author Book Tours.  I read this as an eBook on my Kindle.  

Patrick Thibeault has dedicated his life to serving others both as a soldier and as a nurse practitioner.  There was no doubt as I read this book, that he has a deep commitment towards the health and welfare of others.  Whether the patient was on the battlefield, an enemy, someone in his barracks, or back here in the states in a hospital, they received the best care possible from Thibeault.  

I think this is a great book for someone who can identify with being a soldier, a medic, or someone who has been in the military.  It may read a little dry for the "outsider".  The author tells stories of his time both in Desert Storm and Afghanistan and shares his private thoughts and moments with the reader.  This isn't the type of book that tells of the horrors of the battlefields, but at appropriate times, he does share stories of those he saved and couldn't save.  

Thibeault has since retired from the military and joined the civilian life as a nurse practitioner.  He shares his personal struggles with PTSD and again, it reminds me of how little the military does to prepare soldiers for the return home compared to the amount of training they receive to go to war.  Whether I am reading non-fiction or fiction, this seems to be a central theme.  His descriptions of uncomfortable situations that he has been in will make me much more aware of those who may be suffering from PTSD that I may come across.

If you know a young man or woman looking to enter the military and/or looking to be a medic, this book would be an excellent introduction to their career choice.  Thibeault closes the book with a letter to any future medics with recommendations and advice from his 20 years in the service.

I think this book paints an accurate picture of military life both on the battlefield and in the barracks.  He doesn't hold back with his opinions of how certain things were done or not done.  My favorite part of the book were the photos that he included.  The photos gave the book a personal touch and brought some of his stories to life.  

Thibeault gives the reader an honest look inside the life of a combat medic, one that needs to be heard.

Patrick Thibeault was raised as an Army brat. He lived in Germany, Fort Devens, Massachusetts, Fayetteville, North Carolina and his father was stationed in Seoul, South Korea where he attended Seoul American High School and graduated in 1989. During his time in Korea, Patrick watched several of the Olympic games in person as they were in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. He grew to respect and understand the different cultures he encountered.

Upon graduation from high school, Patrick enlisted in the Army becoming a paratrooper medic. The first unit that he was assigned to was the elite 3rd Battalion / 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). Patrick deployed to Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm back in 1990. During his tenure with the 160th, Patrick had the opportunity to grow both as a soldier and as a medic. He attended SERE school (Survival training), went to Army enlisted flight medic school at Fort Rucker, and attended Primary Leadership training at Fort Stewart, Georgia among other types of military training. He deployed both stateside and overseas with the 160th and even spent some time on the USS. Theodore Roosevelt. During his time with the 160th, he was on both on enlisted crewmember flight status and parachute status.
He then joined the Kentucky Army National Guard. Patrick deployed twice to Ecuador during his time with the Kentucky Army National Guard. He continued to grow in the medical field and nursing field and started nursing school at Eastern Kentucky University. Patrick's first job as a nurse was as a registered nurse in Indianapolis,Indiana. Patrick transferred to the Indiana Army National Guard where in 2000, his entire brigade travelled to Fort Polk, Louisiana to participate in the combat simulations at the Joint Readiness Training Center or JRTC.

He graduated with his bachelor's degree in nursing in May 2003 from Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2004, he deployed with his unit, the 76th Infantry Brigade in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His unit was part of Task Force Phoenix. This task force trained the conventional Afghanistan Army and had soldiers embedded into these Afghanistan units both during training and combat operations. Patrick worked briefly as a liaison for Task Force Phoenix at Bagram Airbase before going back out into the deserts of Afghanistan to serve as a medic.

Patrick started on his master's degree to become a Family Nurse Practitioner upon returning from combat in 2005. He graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in December, 2008. Patrick then transferred to the 138th Field Artillery Brigade, part of the Kentucky Army National Guard, where he remained till he retired in January, 2011. Patrick currently works part time in a medical intensive care unit part time as a registered nurse and works full time in a urgent and primary care clinic as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Hobbies include Corvettes,writting poetry, working out, Star Trek, and reading medical books. He is married to his wife Connie. They have a dog named Rocco and two cats named Savannah and Georgia. He named his cats after the beautiful city of Savannah and the other cat after the state of Georgia when he was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, in Savannah,Georgia.

His awards and decorations include the Combat Medical Badge, 2nd award from both Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. The Meritorious Service Medical from Afghanistan, the Air Medal from Desert Storm. Patrick also has earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, parachute wings, and the enlisted crewmember aviation wings.

Currently Patrick is working on a book of combat medic poetry, a book about working as a nurse and a nurse practitioner from the perspective of a man and a fictional book about a time travelling medical provider who gets stuck in the past while trying to learn medicine and nursing and working on his website at http://www.medicstory.com/

I received this book for free as part of the Virtual Book Author Tour in order to complete this review.  I did not receive any other compensation for this review.  This review is my honest opinion.


Teddy Rose said...

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

Combat Veteran Medic Patrick said...

Thank you for the book review. I want to share my website with your readers at www.medicstory.com and a book trailer for My Journey as a Combat Medic is on youtube at: