Rembrances of 40 Years Ago Today
February 18, 2011

Trying to Save the Life of Donald Gibler

By Francis Bowen

It was always that first round that was so lethal.

By the time the others came in everyone was down. I was Don Gibler's medic. A chunk of shrapnel had penetrated his abdomen and exited out his back apparently severing a major artery. He was in deep hemorrhagic shock while I struggled with him, providing IV fluid and getting him out were the limits of what I could do. The following day I would learn that my efforts had been in vain. It was a hot steamy morning back then, and today it is a snowy morning here in the State of Washington.

Suddenly, the space of forty years seems greatly diminished.

Francis E. Bowen, Medic, Alpha and Bravo Batteries, 1970-1971

NOTE: Francis E. Bowen was awarded the Silver Star for his service in Vietnam.