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Trauma Bay II, Balad, Iraq

Congressional delegation visiting the U.S. Air Force base

Medical personnel carry a wounded service member<b></b>
Medical personnel carry a wounded service member through
the emergency room doors at the Balad theater hospital.
"Since the beginning of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, this expeditionary hospital saw 700 to 800 patients every month. Thousands of American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen; contractors and coalition forces; as well as Iraqi Army, Police and civilians were assured the best trauma care available anywhere in the world. Every American Warfighter knew he could count on us. We lived up to our motto, ‘Bustin’ Ours to Save Yours!’ The 98% survival rate of wounded Americans was unprecedented in the history of conflict…and we did it in tents!"
- Major Jody Ocker, USAF-NC

In August 2007, a Congressional delegation visiting the U.S. Air Force base in Balad, Iraq, was touring the installation’s tent hospital when they learned that it was to be demolished since a more permanent facility had recently opened.

The delegation was moved by stories of the lives saved and heroic measures taken at the hospital’s emergency room, and upon their return, efforts were begun to coordinate with Museum staff and USAF leadership in Iraq to collect and preserve many of the objects on display in this exhibit.

"As we stood near Bay II, we realized that perhaps more lives have been saved, and lost, on this spot than perhaps any other during Operation Iraqi Freedom,” said a letter dated Aug. 7 authored by four congressmen, addressed to Army Maj. Gen. Galen Jackman, the Office of the Secretary of the Army legislative liaison chief. “The scuff marks and antiseptic stains on the floor tell a story of heroic efforts to give our wounded the best emergency medical care in the history of warfare. The lives saved, and lost, likely make the slab of concrete the most hallowed of ground in the entire country of Iraq."