A US Central Command spokesman has highlighted the quick thinking and selflessness of a US Navy sailor this week. Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Mick O’Connor narrowly averted tragedy after a small Marine element sustained a casualty during an ambush by ISIS fighters on the outskirts of Erbil, the spokesman said. O’Connor sprang into action, “heroically extracting” a pack of Skittles from the carnage.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rachel Kennedy, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing executive administrator, packs an individual first aid kit at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, May 23, 2014. Volunteers help to pack more than 1,000 IFAKs during a volunteer event. Kennedy is deployed from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., and hails from Charlotte, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ciara Wymbs)
“Burton had taken one to the leg, so I applied a stop-gap with my knee and opened up his IFAK to grab a tourniquet,” said O’Connor. “There was blood everywhere, but I’d recognize the sanguine red of a Skittles bag anywhere.”
Sources confirmed that O’Connor himself was struck by a hail of euphoria while tending to the wounded Marine, but shook off the shock of finding a quintessential piece of American childhood unscathed in a raging warzone half a world away.
“It all happened so fast,” said Cpl. Stephen Tressler, who witnessed the daring rescue. “Even above all the gunfire, I could hear Doc crying out, ‘Oh Jesus! Jesus Christ!’”
Triumphantly waving the packet of assorted, brightly-colored, fruit-flavored confectionery pellets in the air, O’Connor leapt for joy as his comrades broke out in a jubilant cheer while ISIS forces retreated.
A later inspection of Burton’s IFAK additionally revealed two Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, one pack of Gushers, one roll of Fruit by the Foot, one can of Copenhagen Wintergreen and a bottle of 5-Hour Energy.
Burton is listed in stable condition, but has been downgraded to Dental Class 4.
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