Lt. Cmdr. Charles Goodson, officer in charge of the Naval Branch Health Clinic at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, stands outside the clinic adjacent to an antique anchor dedicated on Friday. The Navy Hospital Corps marks its 114th year Sunday.
MCLB-ALBANY — The bravery of U.S. Marine Corps servicemembers has been fortified with the presence of the hospital corpsmen who might be called upon to save their lives on the battlefield.
These unsung heroes are now celebrating a milestone.
The Naval Branch Health Clinic aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany hosted a celebration Friday to recognize the 114th anniversary of the Navy Hospital Corps, ahead of Sunday’s actual anniversary date and to honor the accomplishments of a few of their own.
In addition, a “legacy gift” was dedicated near the clinics’ doors.
After some words were shared about the World War II corpsman for whom the Albany clinic was dedicated, Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class John Henry Bradley, anecdotes were shared telling of the “fox hole surgeries” corpsmen have had to perform on the battlefield while putting themselves in harm’s way to attend to Marines, even though they have had to go into the line of fire unarmed.
“Some corpsmen are on ships, on submarines or on land, but we all come from the same mission,” said Chief Petty Officer Justin Haugland, senior enlisted leader of the Albany clinic. “We fix and repair, not attack — but we do go side-by-side with Marines. What you can save today is incredible compared (to available resources) from World War II.
“All the Marines go a little faster because they have corpsmen by their side.”
Also on Friday outside the clinic, the Navy Achievement Medal was presented to Petty Officer 3rd Class Brett Turano for his recent service in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, promotions were given to corpsmen Lamon Murdock and Steve David — who now hold the ranks of petty officer third class and petty officer first class, respectively.
The “legacy gift” was an antique anchor. Nothing is known about the anchor’s history, although most experts have said that it is 150-200 years old, officials at the clinic say.
“The anchor was chosen because it represents strength and security,” said Haugland.
The Navy Hospital Corps was officially formed on June 17, 1898. There were several high-ranking officials issuing statements this week to acknowledge the 114th anniversary of the “Warrior Docs,” including Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick D. West.
“... From their beginnings in the Continental Navy to today’s Overseas Contingency Operations, Corpsmen have served in every major battle, performing courageously on the front lines and assisting their fellow warriors in any way possible,” the statement read. “You are an exceptional group of men and women, whose dedication to duty and willingness to put others before self is evident throughout your heroic history. Loblolly Boy, Bayman, Doc ... the name may have changed several times, but the pride and professionalism have remained constant. Whether you are providing top-notch health care at home, under way and abroad, or life-saving treatment on the battlefield, you are a vital part of our Navy and Marine Corps team.
“To the thousands of Hospital Corpsmen who serve our great Navy, I am extremely proud of each and every one of you for answering the call to duty and for your benevolent service to those in your care. I have seen firsthand that you take your Hospital Corpsman’s pledge to heart and ‘hold the care of the sick and injured to be a privilege and a sacred trust’ ...”