Day: February 6, 2017

Last ritesLast rites

“At this time the kid next to me got hit in the chest. I rolled him over and cut open his jacket looking for the bullet wound. A slug had gone right through his lung, in the front, out the back. There were no corpsmen up to us yet. The kid began to wheeze and I knew his lung had collapsed. I spat on both my hands, then placed one on the entry wound and the other on the exit hole. After a few minutes of holding him like this, he started breathing better. He was still conscious. I asked him if I could do anything more for him. A corpsman came up and began bandaging his wounds. ‘I don’t know whether he’s gonna make it.’ The sun began to go down and the shadows grew longer. The kid whispered, ‘Would you read to me out of my Bible?’ Fox Company was still fighting across the road. We were pinned down. I read to him from his Bible.” – Private First Class Doug Koch, D Company, 5th Marine Regiment (quoted by Donald Knox in The Korean War: Pusan to Chosin – An Oral History)