The care gene.

A good combat medic is a breed apart. They go into the situation voluntarily wearing a heavier amount of gear than anyone else in the platoon but the heavy weapons teams. They’re rarely armed. Perhaps a side arm or a light combat knife or scalpel to cut uniform away to get at a wound or dig out a piece of still burning phosphorus out of raw flesh, but that’s usually about it. They run through fields of fire to get to a fallen comrade when everybody else is heads downed jammed into the ground and trying to get their ass even lower before it gets shot off.

When you see such scrotum shriveling acts of courage, every man in the platoon starts laying down some bloody serious suppressive fire. First for the man who’s down and then for the other mad fucker who’s trying to get to him and save his life. He has to me mad. He seriously has to be. The casualty statistics for combat medics are quite simply horrific. Appalling.

I confidently predict there’s something that will be called the care gene which has yet to be discovered by geneticists. If you’ve ever seen it in action, there is no doubt of its existence. Your natural impulse is to protect the mad fucker from their own elemental nature. You’re obliged to save them from such generosity of heart and selfless courage to help other people in deep trouble.

The saddest thing in the whole world is to see one of them cut down trying to get to a wounded comrade, because that red cross they’re wearing makes them a priority target. You don’t know what rage is until that moment. El Degüello becomes the battle cry. No quarter will be given, and no prisoners will be taken when you get out of that particular jam and in a position to do some serious payback. It’s just not going to happen.

A couple of things lately reminded me of my hypothesis about the care gene. The first was a war movie I saw recently called Hacksaw Ridge. I’d recommend it. In essence it’s set in WWII in the Pacific campaign and is based on a true story. It’s about a man who was determined to serve, but because of his strong Christian faith, refused to even hold a weapon. Thou shalt not kill. He takes a lot of pressure because of it but eventually they let him become what he always wanted to serve as, a combat medic.

During the battle for Okinawa, there was a sort of mesa or plateau which became known as Hacksaw Ridge. The Americans would scale up it and the Japanese would counter attack with massive numerical superiority. Being a dominant feature of the landscape, control of it ebbed and flowed. In the second half of the movie, the Americans are once again driven off it, but he remains because he knows there are many wounded strewn around the plateau.

That night while the Japanese were systematically working their way around the battlefield and bayoneting the wounded, he was sneaking around unarmed and pulling, dragging or staggering around carrying wounded to the edge of the plateau and lowering them on a rope. His prayer through the night was “please Lord, let me save another one”.

The Japanese eventually tumbled to the fact that he was there and what he was up to, and he had to climb down from the plateau to save his own life.

But through the night, he’d managed to lower 75 wounded men on a rope one after another and kept going back into the danger zone to find another one. He was awarded the Medal of Honor and uniquely without ever having held a weapon or firing a single shot.

The second item was an article about a Californian police officer called Jesse Whitten adopting a newborn baby. He’d got to know a homeless woman who was fighting a serious addiction problem. When she became pregnant, she got in touch with him and his wife and asked them if they’d adopt her baby when it was born. They already had three daughters, but I suspect knowing the track record of a drug addict’s baby going into the welfare system wasn’t too hot, they said yes.

When she was born, the baby was of course via the umbilical chord addicted as well, but got through that tough start in life.

There were two acts of care there. The first was the birth mother essentially giving away her child because she knew her downward spiral lifestyle would only hurt her baby, but at the same time, she wouldn’t allow the baby to go into foster care. Instead, she got in touch with someone she trusted and offered him and his wife the unborn baby.

The second act of care was of course officer Whitten and his wife Ashley accepting into their home another child. They had absolutely no obligation to undertake such a lifelong responsibility. The official adoption has just gone through, so the baby is safe.

There used to be an expression in journalism when people still bought newspapers – if it bleeds, it leads. I feel it’s mutated into if you should feel morally outraged and indignant about a story and the down spin being put on it, it leads. Essentially, it’s mean, miserable, angry, petty and being preached to from on high by a bunch of purveyors of fake news.

But there are still good stories in the world, and lots of them. Just take a long look at the pure joy in officer Whitten’s face as he cuddles the new baby entering their family. One more life saved and plucked out of the raging surf.

The care gene in action.


4 Responses to “The care gene.”
  1. Dolf (a.k.a. Anders Ericsson) says:

    There for sure are evil men (and women), but I maintain, man in essence is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Blackswan says:


    The great examples you cite of the ‘care gene’ are what we once always understood self-sacrifice for others to be.

    Today we’re so inundated with worthless virtue signalling by neurotic Socialists that it’s too easy to overlook the true heroes in our midst.

    You’re so right … “there are still good stories in the world, and lots of them.”

    It’s up to us to ignore the dross and raise our champions to be acknowledged as they deserve to be. There are so many of them if we just look around us. 

    Thanks for that timely reminder of the good among us.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Blackswan says:

    “We’ll do the VooDoo so you can do what you do.”

    “Serving on the frontline of the frontline, the medics of Australia’s Special Operations Command have fought some of the bloodiest battles – to save our soldiers’ lives – in the desert and dusty field hospitals of Afghanistan.”


  4. u.k.(us) says:

    Keep the posts coming, I’ll sometimes wait 2-3 days to read them.
    Gotta be in the right mood.


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