This is a Marine Corps Birthday message from a Navy Doctor in Afghanistan (for the civilians among you, he is stationed a major, non-Marine base). I have left some of the forwarding blog material below. The doctor's comments are unedited. My apologies to the priests who are addressees but you would have been extremely suspicious of editorializing had there not been scatological opinion reinforcement of the Anglo – Saxon variety.

The Corps that we served and love lives on. May God Bless Them, Us, Our Corps and Our Nation.


Dr. Dennihy wanted me to forward this. I am following directions.

Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 1:30 PM

As an IA or individual augmentee for the army,and being stationed on a
NATO base, I planned on not seeing alot of Marines. Their primary base, "
Leatherneck " is in Helmand province and combat injured Marines are close
to another Role III run by the Brits. When a Marine
crosses my path I usually engage him in one form or another and when they
are in my shop I can sometimes make what's routine for me less daunting to
the Marine. Marines don't like medical, pure and simple.
Not that I want to see Marines injured but I just want to see
Marines.Marines don't show up to sick call with I want my mommy
complaints. Marines don't walk the base in PT gear or with their weapons
slung haphazzardly. Marines seldom if ever, fail to note an officer
passing. Marines taking care of their own but are appreciative of those
Docs that take care of them. Apart from my medical degree, the award,
honor, ribbon, or academic acknowledgement
that I am most proud of is the " Fleet Marine Force " warfare device I
earned deploying with the 2/23 Marines to Ramadi, Iraq in 2009.
Marines do show up here at KAF though and I usually take
the opportunity to fuck with them. Two Marines were in the chow hall on
their way to Camp Leatherneck and I ask if I can join them.
The two lance corporals seem a little suspicious but after I put them at
ease with some old man banter they swivel their heads around and ask
me…Sir, what the fuck is this place? Everybody's got gym clothes on and
it looks like their weapons don't even work. What's with the hippie
civilians? I explain KAF and they are both happy that they will be leaving
soon. I see Marines in primary care when they come on a consult to see
opthomology or our neurologist the TBI specialist. The LNO, an FMF
corpman, will grab me if they have any wound related issues. I have had
two Marines seeing those specialist for eye injuries or TBIs and I have
seen them for the holes where shrapnel tore into their subcutaneous space
and was subsequently removed, leaving a gaping open wound.. Lucky they had
been,but they were left with a big hole that would take a month to heal. I
offered a delayed primary closure to the two of them telling them that it
had a fifty-fifty chance of not getting infected. Like all Marines,
adventuresome and for the most part trusting of a Navy doctor….an FMF
doc, they said that if it would get them back to their unit they were good
to go. I scrubbed their wounds, debrided margins and sutured them up.
I see Marines in my trauma bay and usually these Marines
have not been as lucky. When I know they're comming I have on my game face
and I ask the Lord for my A game.A snipers bullet to the head, a
dismembering IED blast and a Marine who I will call "Rocky".
Rocky is a recon Marine, the toughest of the tough. His face,neck and
upper chest were exposed to an IED blast. He is six foot two, two
hundred and 45 pounds. He comes in on a liter with only an IV and a face
that looks like hamburger. His left eye is ruptured and his right is
swollen shut. Thankfully he can answer me and nods and gives one word
answers. I tell him we will put him to sleep and square him away. He tells
me " Doc, do what you got to do " The blinded Marine shows bearing in the
face of serious injury. After the CT scan that confirms his eye rupture but
has spared his brain, we clean up his face the best we can while we wait
for his time in the OR. My team takes out eight stones blown into his face
and neck. The smallest being the size of a peant M&M and the largest the
size of a pecan in his forehead. We saved all the stones for him. At the
same time in another bay, another Marine has been shot in the head.
Luckily he is awake and although speech comes with difficulty, the bullets
tract is on the periphery of the brain. He will go to Surgery with our
Neurosurgeon and blessedly do well. Before he goes to the OR, I need to
squeeze his hand and wish him luck. On his chest is written: "My help comes
from the maker of heaven and earth " Psalms 121.2.The third Marine
unfortunately, is a fallen angel.
I am also lucky enough to have two former Marines on
my trauma team. One is a now hardened experienced ICU/ER nurse.He served
in Vietnam as a Recon Marine in 1968. The other is a former grunt and
Hollywood Marine and is also an experienced ER nurse.
These two necessary components make my trauma team the best in
imple as that!

Today I am not seeing any Marines at the hospital. I
am among them however, during a 5K run on their beloved Marine Corps
Birthday. The run was fast and I ran in honor of a Marine KIA in OEF. My
bib has the name of LCPL Tyler O. Griffith.
I ran for him today and all the Devil Dogs in Afghanistan. I ran for all
Marines but I ran the hardest for the grunts, the infantrymen that will
always be the definition of warrior.
Semper Fidelis,

LCDR Dave Dennihy MC,USN
Diplomate American Board of Emergency Medicine


  1. “Marines don’t show up to sick call with I want my mommy
    complaints. Marines don’t walk the base in PT gear or with their weapons slung haphazzardly. Marines seldom if ever, fail to note an officer passing” Pretty much sums it up… Thanks for posting Major. And thanks to all the “Docs” that look after the Marines. Semper Fi.

  2. Thank you, Major, for opening up a window we civilians do not often get to look through. My bro served during the Vietnam War on the hospital ship USS Repose known as “The Angel of the Orient” assisting the Docs on the Maxillofacial Surgery Unit. He counted that time as the most honorable thing he ever did in his life. He also said the closest he ever came to seeing the hand of God at work was watching the Doc’s get it exactly right during surgery. God Bless you, LCDR Dave Dennihy MC USN, and all this with you. Thank you from my heart, Sir!

  3. I had the honor of serving as a Platoon Corpsman with the Marines during three combat tours in Viet Nam and I spent most of my 25 Naval Creer with the USMC and cherish the friends I made during that time and would not trade it for anything.
    Rev. Frederick H. Giese
    HM1 (FMF) USN (Ret)

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