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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Unsung Glory #11
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“Corpsman Up!”

Those two words have saved more Marines lives than can be counted. Fleet Marine Force Corpsmen, Navy “Docs” who serve with Marine units, are a platoons most valued asset. When called, no matter how precarious the firefight, the “Docs” are there, tending to “Their Marines” with a level of devotion that can not be adequately described by mere words alone.

On February 2nd 2006 Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Joshua Chiarini, a native of Coventry R.I., was assigned to 1st Battalion 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division on his second tour in Anbar Province and was riding in the third vehicle of a four humvee patrol. He joined the Navy straight out of high school in 2000 and estimates that he has since been in at least 20 firefights, ridden in 30 convoys hit with IED’s and three suicide bombers, and has treated over 100 wounded Marines, never losing one.

At 1100 that morning the lead humvee of his patrol was engulfed in a dust cloud from a roadside bomb. Undamaged, the truck sped out of the kill zone and stopped to engage insurgents firing at them 400 meters away. Four of the five occupants, three Marines and an Iraqi interpreter called Kenny, set up defensive positions, while the fifth man stayed in the turret to provide cover with the vehicles machine gun. That was when the second, more powerful IED detonated. Kenny’s arm was nearly severed by the blast and all four of the dismounted men were wounded. The enemy fire intensified, pinning them down.

Doc Chiarini was unaware of this however. Dust and distance had kept him from seeing the humvee speed ahead and get hit by the second blast. After the first hit the convoy had become separated and the second humvee in the column and the thick black smoke from the first blast blocked his view. The radio was silent and all he could here was the bang of grenades and the staccato pop of small arms fire. After the second blast the inexperienced driver of Chiarini’s vehicle balked at moving forward into the fight. Chiarini said “Screw it, I’m going forward”, grabbed his M3 medical bag and M-16 and bolted out the door.

Ducking enemy fire he ran the 200 meters to the wounded Marines. Kenny looked at him through trauma shocked eyes and asked if his arm was still there. “Some of it” he said and pointed Kenny towards the relative cover of the rear of the burning humvee. A Marine who had been blinded was busy firing wildly at the sounds of the enemy weapons. Doc Chiarini pointed him in the right direction and began tending to the other wounded men. Often times working on the wounded men with one hand and retuning suppressive fire with the other, the doc tended to his Marines.

Chiarini then walked each of the wounded Marines to the protection of the second armored humvee, providing cover fire as they moved. He made three 100 meter trips across the bullet swept battlefield retrieving his Marines. The severely wounded Kenny still remained and weak from blood loss and shock could no longer walk. With one hand Doc Chiarini carried Kenny back while he fired his M-16 with the other.

Once he had all four wounded men behind the humvee he began treating them in earnest. “I felt like corpsmen that had gone before me in earlier wars were there. I could feel their hands on my shoulders as I worked.”

After about five minutes a QRF arrived and its corpsmen took over care for his wounded. Doc Chiarini then joined the firefight, killing several insurgents, including a twelve year old boy with a detonator for yet a third IED.

“It was a pretty crazy day.” he would say later.

The Marine Corps agreed. On October 22, 2007 Doc Chiarini was presented with the Silver Star for his heroism on that “Crazy Day”.

“He reacted the way he did for one simple reason: to take care of the Marine at his right and the Marine to his left,” said Brig. Gen. David Berger, 2nd Marine Division’s assistant division commander when he presented the Silver Star to Chiarini. “He would not let his fellow warriors down. He used himself to protect his comrades. We can not ask anything more.”

All four men survived thanks to Doc Chiarini and earning the Silver Star was a special recognition for him. But he received the best tribute several weeks after returning to Camp Lejeune when he ran into one of them at 8 Ball Pizza, a corporal nicknamed Redhead.

“Doc, I knew everything was going to be OK when I saw you come through the smoke,” the Marine told him.

chiarinij_cardfront.jpg

30 Responses to “Unsung Glory #11”
  1. Unregistered Comment by mindy1

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    Wonderfully heroic story-why is this in race baiting assholes and lefty american haters?

  2. LC Hardclimber54 Comment by LC Hardclimber54

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    LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H.

    A great story, and a well-deserved medal for such courage. The world could some a couple more…

    mindy1 , I don’t know, leftists hate everybody, including themselves, and they are insignificant when compared to men such as Petty Officer 1st Class Chiarini. Besides mouthing off mindless slogans and utter drivel, they have no accomplishments. And accomplishment is the last thing these socialists appreciate. It means someone is better than they ever could hope to be.

    Great post. I wish I could tell this man in person how lucky we all are to have him. I would be humbled in his presence, yet become a better person for having done so.

    An eternal Thank You…

  3. Unregistered Comment by NR Pax

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    A bit more information for folks who aren’t in the know:

    Every Corpsman that serves with Marines is there because they volunteered to be. They have to undergo a boot-camp style training which means it only attracts the kind of people that don’t object to that level of high pressure.

    And stories like that are why we love ‘em as much as we do.

  4. LCBrendan Comment by LCBrendan

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    Silver Star, hell, the man should have gotten the CMH.

  5. Unregistered Comment by nerbygirl

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    Crunchie:
    What an uplifting story to wake up to!! Thanks for these stories every Monday, Crunch. We NEED to be reminded of the sacrifices that these soldiers are making every day.
    I’m corresponding with a Navy Corpman right now, and he’s one of the most positive men I’ve ever had the joy to write to. Every time I get an email from the guy I’m reminded to stop whining about my whittle pwoblems.
    I didn’t even know what a Navy Corpman was ’til I met this guy.
    Joshua Chiarini exemplifies what they’re all about. God bless him!!

  6. hilljohnny Comment by hilljohnny

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    i reckon he must be bowlegged or he couldn’t walk much less run with those coconuts hanging between his knees.

  7. Unregistered Comment by Age of Rifles

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    I never served in combat but I can tell you from the professional treatment I and others received aboard my various ships, the HM’s are a breed apart. I know I could never do that job; I would go batshat insane if I saw someone with their arm blown off.

    Too bad such stories get buried on the back page, if they make the papers at all. You can rest assured that had this medic put panties on that 12 year old terrorists head if would be front page for the next three months.

  8. Thresher Redux Comment by Thresher Redux

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    When called, no matter how precarious the firefight, the “Docs” are there, tending to “Their Marines” with a level of devotion that can not be adequately described by mere words alone.

    I know a word.

    Divine.

    Greater love hath no man…

    Good post, Crunchie! You do an honor to yourself and the Armed Forces with every one of these. Wish this was a segment on NBC Nightly News, though.

  9. LC Draco Comment by LC Draco

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    Awesome post, Crunchie!! Those Corpsmen are really a breed apart. I served with some in Iraq and they are just awesome soldiers!!!

    /salute Corpsman 3rd Class Joshua Chiarini

  10. baslimthecripple Comment by baslimthecripple

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    Compare this with John F’in Kerry who stopped his boat for maybe thirty seconds to pluck a guy out of the water and head for safety. Noteworthy, I must confess. But if that was silver star material, this guy really does merit the MOH.

  11. Unregistered Comment by red_sleeves

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    There is an indescribable bond between a corpsman and his Marines that has to be experienced to be fully appreciated, I think. It goes beyond the extraordinary cords that are camaraderie and fellowship; it’s something else.

  12. Intellectual Conservative Comment by Intellectual Conservative

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    Even though I stopped drinking 22 years ago … this man would never have to buy a drink at a bar in my presence. He is a hero of the first order … it just is kind of sad, when you look at the leftish moonbats out there .. that this man could have been killed defending people like THEM .. and they wouldnt even think twice about not thanking him for his service.

    As for me, Corpsman, I most DEFINITELY thank you for your service.

  13. LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech Comment by LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech

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    Crunchie, if you keep writing like this, you’re going to have to see a publisher.

    They’re just that good,, and I see no end of hero material coming anytime soon.

    As much as we treasure your scribs,, I’m thinkin’ of all the other folks that need to see this too.

    These are historic stories that will never be told, if left to the msm..

    Their Cadre and Families deserve no less.

    Just sayin’..

  14. LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech Comment by LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech

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    baslimthecripple

    John F’in Kerry who stopped his boat for maybe thirty seconds to pluck a guy out of the water

    I thought he got that for running down and shooting that unarmed wounded vc..

  15. LC Hardclimber54 Comment by LC Hardclimber54

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    LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech

    I thought he got that for running down and shooting that unarmed wounded vc..

    Even that would be too much to ask of his kind… To finish off an ennemy, wounded and defenceless, would still require a certain amount of guts, personnally I would be inclined to give a brave ennemy a break, unless he’s taliban, in that case, have a it…

    Nope, don’t see his type runnning after anybody…

  16. LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H. Comment by LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H.

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    why is this in race baiting assholes and lefty american haters?

    Um,…well Mindy you see…the disgonificator and the doohickey didn’t match up with the thingamajig properly… and um… time space continuum and ummmm… Budweiser…yeah that’s it.

    Actually more of a late night eye dee ten tee error. Thanks for pointing it out. It’s fixed now.

    redsleeves
    The relationship between corpsmen and Marines is truly unique. They go through a mini-boot camp tenderly administered by Marine DI’s and wear the Marine uniform with Navy insignia. They are universally called “Doc” and can perform absolute miracles in the field. Marines are more protective of them than they are of their sister’s virginity, and for good reason.

    Crunchie, if you keep writing like this, you’re going to have to see a publisher.

    Thanks Cheapshot. You know, that’s been mentioned before. If we can all get enough material we might have to do just that.

  17. Unregistered Comment by mindy1

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    Hey LC cheapshop-had the same idea a month or so ago. Weird minds think alike huh?

  18. sig94 Comment by sig94

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    Well done is better than well said.
    — Benjamin Franklin

    Well done Doc. Well done indeed.

  19. jaybear Comment by jaybear

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    I look at that picture of him and he looks like so many of the smartass kids that have gone through my classroom….then i look further down and see that chest full of medals. That’s what always amazes me when I run into one of these fine young heroes…they look (and usually are) the kids next door….I’m older than all of them, but am always humbled in their presence. Every American had better be grateful for these kids hard work and sacrifice.

  20. Unregistered Comment by Old Doc

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    What a fantastic story - and probably one that’s being repeated almost daily in the combat areas. And yes, the young hero should be recommended for the MOH. As an “old” F.M.F. Corpsman and involved with many veteran programs - including membership in the Marine Corps League - I see the incredible bond between Marines and their Corpsmen almost daily, complete with hugs and being called “Doc” by all. When I joined the Navy near the end of the Korean War, went to Hospital Corps School and later received orders to the Field Medical Service School at Camp Del Mar (Camp Pendleton), I wasn’t sure what kind of situation I’d gotten myself into. I quickly learned to appreciate and then to love serving with the Marines. We wore the Marine Corps uniform with our Navy insignias proudly. That experience has stuck with me my entire life, and now I still am amazed at how close the bond really is between the Marine and the Corpsman Of Marines. Just yesterday I had the opportunity to meet three young Marines just back from a combat tour in Iraq, and when I was introduced to them as an “old” F.M.F. Corpsman, the smiles and hugs brought tears to my eyes. The bond is always there. And it makes me very proud of my service to my country. So, for all the Marines and “old” Corpsmen out there, Semper Fi!
    Al Gibson, HM2 - 8404 - with the 3rd Marine Division, F.M.F.

  21. LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H. Comment by LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H.

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    Old Doc From a Marine grunt to a Doc, thanks for always being there when we needed you. From lancing a blister to plugging a sucking chest, there ain’t nothing you guys couldn’t, or wouldn’t do for us.
    Thank You!

  22. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    Bravery beyond any I have known. One medic I heard of wouldn’t carry a gun but would charge into enemy fire to tend to wounded. His desire to help stronger than his desire for survival. Kinda’ says it all, doesn’t it?

  23. LittleRott84 Comment by LittleRott84

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    eye dee ten tee

    A goofball at my reserve unit tried that with me one weekend. He asked me if we had any of those ID10T forms. I totally fell for it. :em41:

  24. Unregistered Comment by red_sleeves

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    LC 0311 crunchie,

    I was an 8404 grunt corpsman myself. 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Charlie Co, 3rd Plt.
    I did two pumps, one med as part of the 24thMEU(SOC) and and a UNITAS. Early 90’s.

  25. Beth* A. Comment by Beth* A.

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    Loved reading about this man, Crunchie. I’m with the rest who think you should be writing these stories of our troops for a larger crowd. Might inspire some folks, in thought if not deed.

    Slightly o/t: Crunchie, I finally heard from my Marine DI friend; he called today from Parris Island and said he was working with his second group of new recruits, and was with 2nd Battalion, Echo Company. This bunch ‘graduates’, if that is the correct term, on Jan 22, after which he finally gets some time off after going from DI training himself right into having that first recruit class back a few months. I still wonder if perhaps Crunchie Jr. was in this/his class? Conway’s the moniker.

  26. Panzermann403 Comment by Panzermann403

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    Crunchie, this one was moving as all your posts. But it was special, in a very good way. The bond between a medic and his grunts and vice versa is something very special.

    Thank you very much for your post and for all the time you take to make them.

    And triple Prost !! to Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Chiarini !!

  27. Unregistered Comment by Sandflea

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    What a 100% balls-out hero. That man never buys a drink if I’m in the room.

  28. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    Crunchie, this one was moving as all your posts. But it was special, in a very good way. The bond between a medic and his grunts and vice versa is something very special.

    Very, very true.

    Sanitäter vorwärts!

    Great post as usual, Crunchie!

  29. Unregistered Pingback by Silver Star - Joshua Chiarini « Colorado Right

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    […] clipped from http://www.nicedoggie.net […]

  30. LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H. Comment by LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H.

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    red_sleeves

    I was an 8404 grunt corpsman myself. 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Charlie Co, 3rd Plt. I did two pumps, one med as part of the 24thMEU(SOC) and and a UNITAS. Early 90’s.

    Then you and I chewed some of the same NC dirt my friend, me just a few years before ya. And a huge thanks to you as well for all that men like Old Doc and yer ilk did for us. (See 21 above) If we ever meet, I owe ya a beer.

    Beth

    Crumb crunchie was with first battalion so he and your DI never would have met. Shame though, can you just imagine how weird that would have been if he HAD been crumb’s DI?