Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Book Review: My Journey As a Combat Medic by Patrick Thibeault

My Journey As a Combat Medic 
by Patrick Thibeault
Publisher: Osprey Publishing, July 24, 2012
Category: Military Medic, Memoir
pages 176

This memoir is a courageous account of two decades of service as an Army Medic.  Patrick Thibeault, son of a soldier and raised on Army bases from Germany to Korea, was still in his late teens when he joined the Army fresh out of high school in the late 80s and before he'd quite finished his training as medic the Gulf War began and he soon found himself deployed there.  Then a bit over a decade later as a more seasoned soldier and medic he served in the Afghanistan War with the National Guard.  It is quite interesting to compare the two experiences.  Especially how the advances in technology changed their job, their off duty entertainment and communication home in such a short time.

From the horrors that contributed to his continuing PTSD to the encounters with cultures far different than his own that encouraged his growth as both human being and medical provider, Patrick infuses his very personal story with compassion, humor and integrity.

This book is a valuable resource for anyone seeking insight into what daily life was like for soldiers in these two wars begun over a decade apart--whether as one who has had a family member over there, or as one who is contemplating joining the military as a medic, or as just a citizen who wants to gain understanding or simply to show respect and gratitude to one of our soldiers by listening to his story which, in my book, is one of the most profound ways we can acknowledge their service.

Come back tomorrow for my Interview with Patrick.

From the Publishers:

My Journey as a Combat Medic is a no-holds-barred look at the modern medic in the US Army, allowing us a glimpse at the training as a soldier and as a specialist, as well as deployment and front line duties and the impact of service on civilian life, including an honest look at PTSD, from the author's own personal experience. Rather than a technical manual, My Journey as a Combat Medic is a detailed firsthand account, concluding with a letter to new medics, providing a career's worth of advice and knowledge as they begin their journeys. This book is about the soldiers who bring compassion and humanity to the battlefield.

What they are saying:

"Outstanding!   This book is an easy read and is not your typical war book. The author does an incredible job of showing the reader just how he was able to bring a sense of decency and respect and compassion to the battle zone. I highly recommend this book!"- Cafeguy, Amazon.com Reviewer

" I knew I would enjoy this book from the very first page when Author Patrick Thibeault described jumping off an airplane as a paratrooper.  Then reading about him being a medic, training, traveling all over the world! It's inspiring. It's short, to the point, with stories of experience and emotion rather than historical facts and war strategies. Thibeault writes what he saw, felt, heard. He manages to add light touches of humor during not so humorous circumstances. It's very personal. I couldn't put his book down, finishing in just a couple hours. It's a beautifully written book about a modern day hero."- Cher, Goodreads.com Reviewer

" Patrick Thibeault, a retired US Army Sergeant, offers a candid and, for the most part, positive description of his 20 years as a combat medic. With common sense and compassion, he did his best to heal the injured - ally and enemy alike. In retirement now, he endures a constant struggle with PTSD but has found some positive therapy in his pets - a dog and 2 cats. This book is a good read."- Maria, Goodreads.com Reviewer

"Great Book! I purchased this book for my son who will be leaving for basic training next month and will learn to become a medic. My son and I both read the book. This book is very insightful for anyone that is considering this as their career in the military. Patrick shared his experiences in the book that my son felt will be helpful to him to better serve the soldiers as needed. I am glad that you mentioned the post traumatic stress, this way it will help him to recognize it and to know it is normal. Thank you for sharing with us all."- Shiningstar, Amazon.com Reviewer

" This book is a real life look of Patrick's life as a combat medic. I think that this book is a good read for both military and non-military people. It was very insightful and painted a true picture of what life can be like as a combat medic."- Kara, Goodreads.com Reviewer

"Great Book!  This book provides a true to life in-depth look at what it means to be army medic. The author pulls no punches in providing a real life look at the invaluable service that these men and women provide to our servicemen in the field."- Amazon.com Reviewer

Patrick Thibeault 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. During his time in Korea, Patrick watched several of the Olympic games in person as they were in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. He grew to respect and understand the different cultures he encountered.

Upon graduation from high school, Patrick enlisted in the Army becoming a paratrooper medic. The first unit that he was assigned to was the elite 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 among other types of military training. He deployed both stateside and overseas with the 160th and even 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 in Indianapolis,Indiana. Patrick transferred to the Indiana Army National Guard where in 2000, his entire brigade traveled to Fort Polk, Louisiana to participate in the combat simulations at the Joint Readiness Training Center or JRTC.

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 deserts of Afghanistan to serve as a medic.

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 as a registered nurse and works full time in a urgent and primary care clinic as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Hobbies include Corvettes, writing poetry, working out, Star Trek, and reading medical books. He is married to his wife Connie. They have a dog named Rocco and two cats named Savannah and Georgia. He named his cats after the beautiful city of Savannah and the other cat after the state of Georgia when he was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, in Savannah,Georgia.

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, parachute wings, and the enlisted crewmember aviation wings.

Currently Patrick is working on a book of combat medic poetry, a book about working as a nurse and a nurse practitioner from the perspective of a man and a fictional book about a time travelling medical provider who gets stuck in the past while trying to learn medicine and nursing and working on his website at http://www.medicstory.com/

Follow the blog tour for more reviews, giveaways, author interviews and guest posts: 


3 tell me a story:

Unknown 1/08/2013 1:59 PM  

Looking forward to the tour. :)

Teddy Rose 1/08/2013 9:17 PM  

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I found it quite touching and well written.

patrick thibeault 1/16/2013 3:06 PM  

Thank you for your book review
I want to share my website with your readers at www.medicstory.com

and I have a book trailer on youtube at:


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