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On Call in Hell: A Doctor's Iraq War Story

On Call in Hell: A Doctor's Iraq War Story

Written by Thomas Hayden and Richard Jadick

Narrated by Lloyd James


On Call in Hell: A Doctor's Iraq War Story

Written by Thomas Hayden and Richard Jadick

Narrated by Lloyd James

ratings:
4/5 (14 ratings)
Length:
8 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 15, 2007
ISBN:
9781400173600
Format:
Audiobook

Description

A riveting memoir from the Navy doctor praised as "Hero, M.D." on the cover of Newsweek.



Cdr. Richard Jadick's story is one of the most extraordinary to come out of the war in Iraq. At thirty-eight, the last place the Navy doctor was expected to be was on the front lines. He was too old to be called up, but not too old to volunteer. In November 2004, with the military reeling from an acute doctor shortage, Jadick chose to accompany the First Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment (the "1/8") to Iraq. During the Battle of Fallujah, Jadick and his team worked tirelessly and courageously around the clock to save their troops in the worst street fighting Americans had faced since Vietnam. It is estimated that without Jadick at the front, the Marines would have lost an additional thirty men. Of the hundreds of men he treated, only one died after reaching a hospital. This is the inspiring story of his decision to enter into the fray, a fascinating glimpse into wartime triage, and a compelling account of courage under fire.
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 15, 2007
ISBN:
9781400173600
Format:
Audiobook

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What people think about On Call in Hell

4.2
14 ratings / 5 Reviews
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  • (4/5)
    I'm reading books about the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars as part of my research for my Letty Valdez mystery series. Letty was a medic in the Iraq War. Richard Jadick, author of On Call in Hell started as a U.S. Marine, quit to go to medical school and become a doctor, then returned to the Marines and volunteered to serve in Iraq. His desire to experience the battlefield is something I don't get at all. But he's not the first to say this, having felt that his life as a Marine wasn't complete until he was in the middle of a war. His book is a graphic description of urban warfare, in particular the Battle of Falluja. We get detailed descriptions of bullets flying overhead, valiant attempts to save wounded soldiers, and medical details about how those attempts were accomplished. One of the most evocative passages had to do with his description of fear, of not wanting to leave the shelter of an armored vehicle, and of the feeling of weight in his body. "Fear is like deep water, slowing every step...," Jadick says. But his training took over and he found he was about to do the job. This is a detailed description of the how of warfare but not the why.
  • (3/5)
    Richard Jadick was an ex-Marine and a Navy doctor when the war in Iraq began. He could have remained stateside, because at thirty-eight, he was too old to be called up. But once a Marine, always a Marine. Jadick wanted to be part of the action and go where he was needed. In addition, during Jadick's former deployment to Liberia, 44% of the Marines in his care had developed malaria. Although he was absolved of blame (the soldiers had refused to take the required precautions), Jadick didn't want his career to end on such an ignoble note. There was a shortage of military doctors, and since the Navy provides medical care for the Marines, as well as their own soldiers, Jadick volunteered to accompany the First Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment (the "1/8") to Iraq. Leaving behind his wife and four-day-old daughter, Jadick shipped out with the 1/8 to Haditha Dam. There he spent his days training his corpsmen, improving their living conditions, and performing the administrative duties of his position, such as negotiating with his Iraqi counterpart about the most hygienic ways to use the portable toilets. Not exactly urgent medical emergencies. But then word came down that the 1/8 was going to take a lead role in the upcoming Battle of Fallujah.Soon after arriving at Camp Fallujah, Jadick was out on a reconnaissance run, four days before the battle was due to begin, and came to a startling realization. His Marines were charged with taking the city center and any casualties would be evacuated to Checkpoint 84, the regimental ambulance exchange point, which was located more than two kilometers north of the city. From there, the wounded would be transported to the base hospital at Camp Fallujah, a forty-five minute ride away. That was simply too long. If his Marines were not treated within ten to fifteen minutes of being wounded, their chances for survival would drop dramatically. Granted, there were corpsmen embedded with the troops, but their resources were limited. If Jadick were going to make a difference, he needed to be closer, much closer, to the battle.His plan? To create a Forward Aid Station (FAS) as close to the battle as possible. If he could stabilize the wounded quickly enough, their chances of surviving the trip to Camp Fallujah would improve drastically. So for the next eleven days, Jadick and his team of corpsmen lived and worked right in the heart of the battle. Often under sniper attack, the medical personnel worked in hellish conditions. Their story is generously told by Jadick, as are the stories of the wounded. It makes for compelling reading. After the battle, official estimates would credit Jadick and his team with saving thirty lives, Marines that would otherwise not have made it to the base hospital, and treating 150 more. After returning home, Jadick would receive the Bronze Star with a Combat V for Valor for his courage and perhaps for his vision to see what needed to be done differently in order to make a difference.
  • (4/5)
    Thank you for your service. Thank you for your care and dedication to your fellow Marines .
  • (5/5)
    It was obvious when I read this book what kind of man CDR Jadick was when I realized that he remembered each Corpsman that worked for and with him, and the men who he tried to save and those that he did save. They were important to him. That really says a lot about who he is. My stepson served with CDR Jadick, so when I heard this book would be coming out I was curious. I listened to the interviews on NPR, and read the interviews in Time magazine. I noticed something I don't ever thing I'd ever, ever seen a senior officer do before--CDR Jadick made a point of recognizing his team every time he was told what a "hero" he was. He continued to say (paraphrasing) things like "I couldn't have done it without my Corpsmen", or when asked what would have happened if he had been killed, he explained that he had trained his Independent Duty Corpsmen to do exactly what he could do, and that life would go on because his team would take up the slack. What officer *Does* that?? I *HAD* to read this book!!

    I found this to be a really amazing book about an incredibly brave leader of men and women. This is what our Doctor Officers should be. And they should read this book before they join looking for that sign up bonus...

    So much of the meaning in this book was held in not only the fact that CDR Jadick stopped to tell you about each Marine and Corpsman- but that he remembered each person. That he stopped to tell you that a real person was out there fighting, or fighting to keep the Marines alive in the Corpsmen's case.. when it would have been so much prettier to do a glory book about the brave doctor. He obviously wasn't really worried about that. You can clearly tell he cares and cared about every man and woman.

    -I also got a feeling that most likely it wasn't his idea to write this book. Somehow.. reading it, I have a sneaking suspicion from his deep respect for the Chiefs and Command Master Chief that he was convinced after long discussions that if he did this- someone could hear his opinions. Now, I do not know him at all.. I'm just someone who is incredibly impressed.. no.. STUNNED.. reading this book.

    Now, if you read this book and you do not work in Navy Medicine.. this guy is for real. (I am Retired from working in Navy Medicine) That he cared this much, to go out and risk his life because he knew his idea of the Forward Aid Stations, and previous Trauma experience could make a significant difference in saving lives, is so commendable. (Doctors do not go Forward, they stay in the Rear in Aid Stations or Field Hospitals. For CDR Jadick to choose to create this Aide station because he knew the lag time was costing lives was unusual and brave.)

    His ideas on how to improve the Navy Medical Corps are unbelievably good. I PRAY someone at Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) reads this book.

    (I have one addition to his idea. He says to try to get doctors from among our enlisted ranks who show leadership and want to go to Med School, I say not to just look in the Navy.. look in the Marines too..)

    We have some awesomely good doctors, and some good doctors who are good leaders. Like he says, it is *not* normal that they are taught to be both. To be fair, they are not given the time or training usually. Enlisted are given much more leadership training and experience than a doctor. We keep them busy constantly seeing patients and doing paperwork. If you then pull them from that environment and expect them to magically turn into a officer who can deal with Marines.. it is a little much. CDR Jadick's previous experience as a Marine coupled with his trauma experience made him an ideal person to see some unique possibilities to improve treatment and training.

    GREAT BOOK. Could not put it down.

    Should be a text book for all Hospital Corpsmen deploying with the Marines (with small text warning "*do not expect your doctor to behave like this, or *please place your senior IDC in the place of the doctor in this book.) Should be required reading for Navy Doctors deploying with the Marines. Would give an excellent feel for the actual set up of the Marines, tips on interacting with the personnel, and generally some excellent mental preparation for training to do trauma treatment.
  • (4/5)
    On Call in Hell is a memoir of a Navy doctor's experiences during the Battle of Fallujah, but it's much more than that. Richard Jadick examines his own psyche and background to explain why a person would volunteer for duty amidst such hellish conditions, and he pays tender tribute to the Marines of the First Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment (the "1/8").I read this book for novel research, and I admit, I sticky-tabbed several gory details that may prove useful to me later. However, I found it difficult to read it as mere research book. Jadick and his co-writer brought these Marines to life, even as some were in their final moments. It was heart-breaking, and at times I fought back tears.This is not a book for everyone; it shows the agony and comradery of war, and is never glorifying of the subject matter. It takes a certain type of person to be a doctor in a war zone. I'm grateful that Richard Jadick took on the job and saved everyone he could.