More than a decade in the making, the documentary “When I Have Your Wounded” traces the Army Medevac legacy of its pilots, crew chiefs and flight medics, from Korea to Vietnam to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The man on the ground would come to trust that when they called, we would come,” said retired Col. Dan Gower, who spent 18 years flying Medevac helicopters.
He is now executive director of the DUSTOFF Association, its call sign adopted in Vietnam.
Gower said he and director Patrick Fries, of Arrowhead Films in Austin, wanted to pay tribute to their sacrificial service and document their history.
A second-generation “DUSTOFFer,” Maj. Patrick Zenk, who now works in the Medical Corps office at Fort Sam Houston, said the film’s producer, director and photographer was imbedded with his Medevac group during the fighting in Afghanistan’s Helmud province that saw heavy Marine casualties.
"Whether you’re a crew chief, a pilot or a medic, each one of those individuals is highly trained,” Zenk said. “It takes a lot of experience and a lot of training to get to the point where they’re flying missions.”
In addition to what they’re taught at Fort Sam Houston, flight medics from various military backgrounds also now get civilian paramedic training at UTHSC.
The latest classes were given a special screening of the documentary.
Lance Villers, who chairs the UTHSC Department of Emergency Health Services, said, “Not only are they brave and courageous, they are so willing to learn what it takes.”
Villers said they know when they leave the UTHSC, “The next day, they could be back on the battlefield.”