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thedrifter
12-04-06, 07:24 AM
December 04, 2006
Sailors from Springs train to save Marines’ lives

By TOM ROEDER THE GAZETTE

GREAT LAKES, Ill. - Near the black waters of Lake Michigan, north of Chicago, two Colorado Springs residents are training to someday take on what could be the toughest duty in the military.

Seaman Seth Myers and Seaman Ryan Miller are training to become Navy corpsmen at this sprawling installation in anticipation of service in Iraq caring for wounded Marines.

The Marine Corps has long relied on the Navy to provide medics for land combat, and the corpsmen have a long history of valor that includes 22 who were awarded the Medal of Honor.

“It’s something above and beyond what the average sailor gets to do,”


said Myers, a Palmer High School graduate.

Miller and Myers entered basic training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center last summer before entering the threemonth corpsman school, which will provide them the military equivalent of emergency medical technician certification.

Both trained to be paramedics in Colorado Springs and joined the Navy in search of a challenge. They were raised around the Air Force and Army, but they said they wanted something tougher.

“I feel a mission to do this,” Miller said.

To achieve their goal, the two will have to pass the Navy medical course and go on to even tougher combat training that will prepare them to give aid to fallen comrades on the battlefield.

“You’re their lifeline,” said Myers as he sat in a hall ringed with pictures of corpsmen who were awarded the Medal of Honor. “It wasn’t easy for me to say I have what it takes to do this.”

Myers, 20, will enter the Naval Reserve after his training, and Miller, 21, will serve full time.

They said they’re both nearly guaranteed future service in Iraq.

“I understand that I am afraid,” Miller said. “Either you embrace your mission and carry it out or you let the fear take over.”

Both said their friends admire what they’re doing but think they’re a little crazy for volunteering for such tough duty.

But Miller and Myers say the experience they expect in combat could someday pay off for civilians in Colorado Springs.

Both said they want to come home after the Navy and work as firefighters in the Pikes Peak region.

CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0240 or

tom.roeder@gazette.com

Ellie