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HMs celebrate rate anniversary

Published: Monday, June 23, 2014 7:59 a.m. CST
Caption
HMC Karon Jack (left), medical chief Naval Station Great Lakes, and FHCC Command Master Chief Maurice Coffey, take a moment for a photo at the HM Ball.

Local Hospital Corpsmen (HM) celebrated the 116th birthday of their rating at the Hospital Corpsman Ball, which was held at Keylime Cove on June 14.

Guests of honor included wounded warriors who praised corpsmen for their actions that have saved numerous lives, including theirs.

“When I got hurt they not only saved my life but helped me rehabilitate and move forward,” said HM3 Brian Safford, from Wounded Warrior Regiment Wisconsin.

“I’m forever thankful to HMs for training us in basic first aid,” said 1st Sgt. Timothy La Sage. “A small amount of us got hurt at the same time and it was that training that ensured we all would survive until we could receive medical attention. We wouldn’t be alive today if we didn’t have corpsmen embedded in our units, and in our lives.”

The theme for this year’s HM Ball was “Your Life, Our Hands” and honored the sacrifice of many during the Global War on Terrorism. Each table displayed a photo of a fallen Sailor along with their story, as part its centerpiece.

“This is the first HM Ball that I’ve been to,” said HMSN Cevin Walker. “I’m very impressed with everything; I’m still trying to take it all in.”

Although it was the first for some, others cherished their time there for other reasons.

“This will be the last HM Ball I attend because I’m retiring next year,” said HMC Karon Jack. “I will miss these because they’re a great way to celebrate our history. Hospital Corpsmen go everywhere. We go out to sea, on deployments with Marines, on all kinds of ships, and overseas. We work in any capacity and we’re always true to our rate, that’s what makes me proud to be a HM.”

Before the night ended with some dancing, HMs all around the room stood up, raised their right hand and proudly said the Corpsman’s Oath.

“I solemnly pledge myself before God and these witnesses to practice faithfully all of my duties as a member of the Hospital Corps. I hold the care of the sick and injured to be a sacred trust and I will assist the medical officer with loyalty and honesty. I will not knowingly permit harm to come to any patient. I will not partake or nor administer any unauthorized medication. I will hold all personal matters pertaining to the private lives of patients in strict confidence. I dedicate my heart, mind, and strength to the work before me. I shall do all within my power to show in myself an example of all that is honorable and good throughout my Naval career.”
 

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