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Marines Give First Aid To Accident Victim

By: Chad Swaim

Date Posted: 2000-12-22

Four Marine Corporals helped a badly injured Okinawan man who collided with a car while riding his motorcycle near Chatan Town on Dec 1.

"We had just got done eating and were walking along the seawall by the ocean when we heard the crash," said Serena Starks.

Starks was with her friends Garry Fields, Sithat Thansouk and Steve Varga. They ran to see what had happened. "We saw an Okinawan man on the road, lying close to the sidewalk with a crowd of people standing around him," Starks said.

"The Okinawan man was lying near the sidewalk bleeding. A bone was sticking out of his leg and I didn't know if he was dead or alive. People were crowded around him and no one was administering first aid," Varga said.

Then Starks applied pressure to the man's leg above the wound, Thansouk made sure someone called for an ambulance and then helped direct traffic away from the accident scene.

Varga worked to keep the man conscious and prevent him from going into shock. "I held his head and arms still while Fields and Starks administered first aid to his injuries," Varga said. "We were basically doing what we were trained to do."

"The guy who got out of the ambulance was looking at us for a couple of seconds and then he opened his case and handed us some long white strips of sheet-like material," Starks said. Fields took the strips of material and attempted to bandage the wounded man's leg as well as possible.

"I didn't really know if the man was going to go into shock or what," Fields said. "I've never been in that kind of a situation before".

"We went up to the hospital the next day to check on him and take him some flowers," Starks said. " His family was there and they were very grateful. They just kept thanking us."

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