Yancy Caruthers (1971- ) grew up in Alton, MO, and joined the Army Reserves at 17. He became a nurse, and worked in several areas until finding a passion in emergency medicine, which ultimately led to a job with an air ambulance company. He served in Iraq two different times, and retired from the Army as a Captain.
After this experience, he decided to leave the medical profession and pursue other endeavors. He has now lived on three continents, and is hoping to reside on at least three more. He currently lives with his family in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Author Links –
Publisher: Independent (CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing)
Release Date: eBook April 2014, paperback May 2014
Book Description: Northwest of Eden is the author’s first person account of his experience during Operation Iraqi Freedom as second-in-command of an Army emergency department and leader of an air transport team. The varied cast of characters provides top-notch medical care to service members in harsh conditions, while wielding the darkest humor against each other just to stay sane. Most of the time they succeeded…
When it finally came time to roll the bad guy over and look at his back, we found the wound that should have killed him. A bullet had entered over his right shoulder blade, then taken an unexpected right turn and followed the surface of the bone. It had skipped out without entering his chest, but had taken a fist-sized chunk of meat along with it. The hole had been packed with a bandage roll, but it wasn’t bleeding or bubbling, so I shoved a fresh wad of gauze into it and we rolled him flat again.
I turned my attention to the room’s other occupant, a soldier who wore a dusty pale green uniform and wore the 4th Infantry patch on his shoulder.
“So what exactly happened to this guy?” I asked.
The soldier exhaled sharply, and acted a bit bothered that I had asked, but he relayed the story that two guys had been spotted trying to set a roadside bomb, but had fled once they realized they had been discovered. Troops had pursued, and had ultimately cornered the two bad guys in a tiny house in a cluster of tiny houses.
When cornered the insurgents had fired back at the patrol with AK-47s, which is generally a bad idea, but these two hadn’t read the insurgent manual. When friendlies returned fire (which isn’t very friendly if you think about it) the two gentlemen had taken off out the back door.
One of them now wore a blindfold, and lay paralyzed and sedated in our trauma room, having been shot three times by some fairly pissed-off infantry troops. When he awoke, he would not be allowed to see his surroundings, or get a feel for the layout of the hospital. Those caring for him would have nametags removed, as it was a favorite habit of insurgents to pass all sorts of information using a soldier’s name, or make various allegations.
It was different, not like treating a drunk driver or sex offender back home, but trying to give good care to a man who wanted me dead, and would be certain to try if the opportunity presented itself. It was a game changer. I started every IV with a pistol on my hip.
I looked back at the corporal. He stood about five four, a good six inches shorter than me, and a full foot less than the guy on the recruiting poster. His arms were thick, but he still wore medium sized armor. I thought mine was bad enough, but this guy had additional Kevlar panels that covered each side of his torso. The plates alone probably added twelve more pounds. His short rifle was slung to his chest, but his right hand stayed draped over the pistol grip, index finger straight and off the trigger, but close enough.
The conspicuous thirty round magazine protruding from the bottom was something my soldiers only carried in their pocket, assuming they remembered it at all, and only unloaded it once a month to keep the spring from going bad.
I wondered how much of this kid’s adult life had been spent in a war zone. If I had been a bartender, I would have asked him for an ID. He might have been nineteen or twenty. He had dark eyes and dark hair, with fair, flawless skin. I speculated about his heritage, as he was some amalgam of two or three different origins. His mouth turned up slightly at one corner, in a kind of a permanent smirk. I had worked long enough in a profession dominated by females to know what women find attractive, and this guy was it. Had he been six feet tall, he would have had a group of nurses following him around.
What I wouldn’t have called him, however, was vibrant. He moved his head very slowly and deliberately, and his eyes never left his prisoner. I wasn’t sure he had even blinked. He reminded me of a coiled snake.
I decided to try some obnoxious humor. “Somebody need to go back and teach some marksmanship. This guy is shot three times with only one hit center mass.”
I expected a half-hearted grin or part of a laugh. The soldier just kept staring at his charge. His look softened a little, and his reply was deferential.
“I don’t know what their problem was, sir,” he said, shrugging one shoulder. “I killed the other guy. They didn’t shoot him enough times, I guess.”
There it was. He wasn’t responding to my joke, he was actually trying to explain why my patient was still alive. Except for the words themselves, it was normal conversation, and flowed as smoothly as the answer I would have gotten if I had asked him whether or not he had eaten chow today.
June 16 – Spotlight at 4 Covert 2 Overt A Place In The Spotlight
June 16 – Guest Blogging at Infinite House of Books
June 18 – Spotlight at Musings of a Book Maven
June 20 – 5 Things I Know For Sure at CAT Magazine
June 24 – Interviewed at Pubslush
June 26 – 6 Besties at BK Walker Books
June 28 – Reviewed at My Life, Loves, and Passions
June 30 – Reviewed at Mythical Books
July 2 – Reviewed at Debbie Jeans
July 4 – Interviewed at Ghost Rider Book Promotions
July 7 – Spotlight at Black Lilac Kitty
July 9 – Reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt
July 11 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner