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Mike Felker's Autobiography (submitted 5/5/06)
We were on a patrol and came to a small village. Several excited villagers
came up to the patrol, asking for the medic and pointing to a very still water
buffalo tied to a tree. A young boy took me by the wrist, leading me to the
I grew up in Philadelphia. The closest bovine contact I'd ever had
was a container of cottage cheese with Elsie the Cow's
picture on it. I was sure a water buffalo would try to gore or stomp me.
While I kept an eye on the extremely long and pointed horns, the boy
pointed out a small hole in the thick hide on the flank of the water buffalo;
no blood either fresh or dried, just a neat hole . The water buffalo was
shaking almost imperceptibly. The boy said the water buffalo had
been shot the day before during a firefight. It had massive internal bleeding
and was in severe shock.
I poured hydrogen peroxide over the hole. I smeared the hole with
bacitracin. I unwrapped a large battle dressing and an ace wrap,
tying one set of the gauze strips of the battle dressing to the ace wrap. I
placed the battle dressing over the hole, tossed the ace wrap over the the
water buffalo. I walked around the water buffalo and kneeling on my knees, I
gingerly reached under him, grabbed the other set of gauze strips from the
battle dressing and tied them together. The brown, stoic beast was girdled
with a band of pink, the battle dressing in place over the wound,
accomplishing nothing; I'm sure he died shortly.