Marine donates blood to save Afghan soldier's life
Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 3:37:33 PM
The U.S. military will remain in Afghanistan for the next two years to ease the transition out of war, but some troops are helping their Afghan counterparts in other ways, too. Lance Corporal Meng Lu recently donated blood to save the life of a dying Afghan National Army soldier.
The Afghan soldier had stepped on a pressure plate, which set off an improvised explosive device that would have killed him, if not for Lu, three other blood donors and the Navy healthcare team at Forward Operating Base Delaram II's Shock Trauma Platoon (STP).
The soldier, who had a rare blood type, had almost no blood left when he arrived at the clinic. Calls went out for volunteers from STP's walking blood bank program, which has a list of pre-screened volunteers - including Lu. While a saline solution is often used to save patients who are bleeding excessively, military medicine now seeks to replace blood with blood to improve troops' survival rates.
Lu said he was simply doing the right thing for the soldier, who had to be revived three times.
"I just try to help other people out," Lu said.
American troops are set to stay in the war-torn country until 2014, after the House endorsed the continued war in Afghanistan last week, The Associated Press reports. Democrats and Republicans alike acknowledged the public's weariness with the nearly 11-year war, but rejected an amendment that could have limited funds to exclusively the "safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops and military contractors from Afghanistan."
There are currently 88,000 troops in Afghanistan, and President Obama states the U.S. military's combat role is winding down.
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