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Patrick Thibeault

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Sergeant Patrick Thibeault, USA (ret.), “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. Upon graduation from high school, Patrick enlisted in the Army becoming a paratrooper medic. The first unit that he was assigned to was 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. He deployed both stateside and overseas with the 160th and 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 at the Veteran Hospital 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.

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 field.

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 and works full time in an urgent and primary care clinic as a nurse practitioner.

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 and the enlisted crewmember aviation wings.”  Sergeant Patrick Thibeault is the author of My Journey as a Combat Medic from Desert Storm to Operation Enduring Freedom

Sergeant Patrick Thibeault said of My Journey as a Combat Medic from Desert Storm to Operation Enduring Freedom, “I felt compelled to write this memoir after returning from Afghanistan in 2005.  I felt that my experiences as a combat medic during Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and fifteen years later during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan made me the best qualified person to tell about the combat medic. I had some perspective.

This was delayed from several years as I started nurse practitioner school and starting working as a nurse practitioner. I have felt that the story of the modern day combat medic is something that is not being told. There have been television shows on such about infantry forces in Vietnam, movies about Special Forces soldiers, even movies about the 160th and the Army Rangers.  No stories about the modern medic specifically.

I have talked with other combat medics who wish that they could write about their experiences. Originally, I thought about getting several medics together and we would all write about our different experiences from different wars. None of the other medics that I knew were interested in doing this. I started to write my story. I soon realized that not only is it a story about combat, but a story about life. I write about growing up as an Army brat and moving every couple of years, I write about dealing with post traumatic stress disorder. I write about the training of a medic and how I used that training in combat. I write about being a seasoned older medic giving some dear advice to a new medic. The book itself is not just combat. The book is about the Journey that I took. I have entitled the book, “My Journey as a Combat Medic : From Operation Desert Storm to Operation Enduring Freedom”  for this.

I was a naive new medic at first and as the years had gone by, I was the seasoned old medic. Looking back, I remember those old seasoned medics I would look to for advice and inspiration. I guess I wrote this book because I want the public to know about the people that are the first ones to take care of the injured in combat. Enough stories and documentaries have been written about the surgeons in combat hospitals. A true story needs to be told about the medics who took care of the wounded first.”

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