Memoirs

Battleworn: The Memoir of a Combat Medic in Afghanistan by Chantelle Taylor

By Chantelle Taylor

Each inch a lady and each inch a warrior. In peace and conflict Taylor is as radiant as gold and as tricky as diamond' Sam Kiley - writer of determined Glory and overseas Affairs Editor of Sky information. Chantelle Taylor joined the British military in 1998 as a wrestle clinical technician. Ten years later she made heritage, turning into the 1st lady soldier to kill a Taliban fighter in close-quarter strive against whereas on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. In Battleworn, she tells the tale of B corporation, a beleaguered staff of people who fought relentlessly to carry Nad-e Ali, a dusty, sweltering hellhole surrounded by means of the Taliban. A regimen patrol into a space saturated with enemy warring parties escalates right into a seven-week siege. dealing with the opportunity of loss of life day-by-day, Taylor writes of gun battles and threatening patrols, culminating within the extraction of greater than sixty-six casualties with 4 killed in motion. a robust tale written with a humility that captures the occasionally impalpable humour of squaddies at conflict, Battleworn presents a testomony to strive against medics worldwide. It highlights the an important position that they play in present day 360-degree battlefield.

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Through an opening in the door I get a glimpse of Abbie at the centre of a group of Afghan soldiers. I follow Monty through to the group. The moment he speaks, other conversations end. Monty has blue-grey eyes like chips of flint, and a presence that leaves no doubt as to who’s in charge. ‘I’ve been keeping my eye on her,’ he whispers. ’ As I enter the room where Abbie has been working, the smell of gasoline, human shit, and the cold coppery tang of blood hits me. The four wounded are all Afghans.

As I enter the room where Abbie has been working, the smell of gasoline, human shit, and the cold coppery tang of blood hits me. The four wounded are all Afghans. Two have chest injuries, and two have multiple shrapnel and fragmentation wounds. The five Afghans helping out as medical orderlies have lowered eyes and expressions that are both respectful and bewildered. This could well be their first encounter with a Western woman. Maybe they’ve never seen the face of any woman except their mother, and the way they are willingly taking instructions from Abbie is a positive sign.

Clark, Scotty McFadden, and the remainder of B Company, I press on to the Afghan National Police (ANP) compound, a sand-bricked building built around a courtyard in the centre of Nad-e Ali. Travelling with our platoon is a Ford Ranger pickup packed with Afghan police. They hang on to the sides of the wagon with one hand, as the other holds a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, with one finger precariously curled round the trigger – a weird combination that filled me with dread. This isn’t how we do it; your finger stays off the trigger until you are engaging something.

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