Michael's Dispatches

Valentine's Day Weekend, Afghanistan:


Published: 14 February 2010

A crew from the United States Air Force spent Saturday night and Sunday morning airlifting different groups of wounded soldiers from Kandahar to Camp Bastion to Bagram, back to Kandahar, then back to Bagram, and back to Kandahar. These patients were from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Here, an Air Force nurse caresses the head of a wounded, unconscious Canadian soldier while whispering into his ear.


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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chuck Norris · 10 years ago
    Mike, will you write a dispatch on this mission? I hope so!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sean · 10 years ago
    If we are going to make civilians sacrosanct in our rules of engagement, why should we be surprised when the enemy hides behind them?

    They aren’t stupid.

    So, once again, in the long run the unintended consequences will probably end up making civilians less safe than they were before.

    And our troops will also suffer for this decision.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Judy Monhollen · 10 years ago
    Michael, what a great image...you've done it again! Keep up the great work! Your reporting far transcends our mainstream media and their "doom and gloom" perception of the war. This wounded soldier is a lucky man to have someone so caring watching over him. God bless!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Average Joe · 10 years ago
    What can one say in response to seeing that photograph and reading these comments? I have nothing. Except to say "thank you" and "God Bless" to all involved.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    joe · 10 years ago
    To all the "docs" no matter the generation or the war, God bless you for what you do.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Master Sergeant Chri · 10 years ago
    Mr Yon, I have the honor and privilege of not only serving with the fine officer you photographed but I am proud to call her a good friend. The Major is an outstanding nurse and an amazing person. No matter what country we serve or how we are portrayed rest assured those of us in the fight are in it together for each other, Brothers and Sisters in Arms. Our Squadron's motto is "Bringing Heroes Home". Rest easy knowing your countries Heroes are in exceptional hands.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jill Smith · 10 years ago
    May 31st 2008 this picture could have been of my only child. I doubt these Nurses have any idea how much we appreciate what they do for our sons, husbands, brothers, sisters, daughters, wives. This loving carress from this nurse to this Hero makes my heart sing and criy at the same time. God Bless Her and the Wounded Warrior!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kevin and Laura · 10 years ago
    As Canadians and friends of Jim, Holly, Dan and the rest of the family, we would like to thank the United States military, and in fact all Americans, for their global support of those in need. In this instance the US medical staff and the well-equipped American hospitals in Germany and Afghanistan were key to saving Dan's life.

    Whether it be a military operation in support of freedom and justice, a natural disaster, or other major world event, the United States is always first to step up and offer to help, and usually the first on the ground in the stricken region with food, water, and other assistance. This fact is lost on the many detractors and anti-American voices who for some unknown reason want to paint America as the aggressor. This must be very frustrating to both military personnel and the average American citizen.

    While Canada is always right there beside our American friends in times of crisis, we thank the US military staff in this case for their key role in keeping Dan alive and seeing that he has made it home, with the prospect of a full and productive life still ahead of him. Without their support the outcome could have been much worse.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    L. McQuiggin · 10 years ago
    It is incumbent upon us, in looking back at the lives - the challenges and accomplishments - of those who came before us, who made us, who sacrificed for us, who gave us ourselves (and so much of themselves in so doing) - that we do as much good as we can in this brief flash of light, this brief existence that we ARE. If we do not, in the greater scheme of things, we are nothing. There is no life without honour, compassion, integrity, perseverance, faith, and kindness. We owe them, we owe ourselves, those we share this place and time with - and those, who with the grace of God, come after us - too much to do any less.

    Thank you to our friends, all those who serve with courage, who make a difference. Thank you for your care and kindness, to Danny and all others like him.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Gorman · 10 years ago
    Why can't we get more aerial surveillance devices into the hands of our Marines in Afghanistan?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    SMSgt Jeff Trabold, · 10 years ago

    After reading your article, I emailed Maj Lehker to thank her. I think she might be an angel. I can't stop crying.

    Thanks for the great coverage.

    SMSgt Jeff Trabold, USAF
  • This commment is unpublished.
    john mcnally · 8 years ago
    my son was the one who died on that helicopter...four others wounded...maj lucy lehker tended to them and i owe her a heart felt thankyou for all her efforts. lucy....you ARE an angel and may GOD richly bless you and keep you safe as you tend to those in need.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    chris olsen · 7 years ago
    I read your story when it first ran. As an EMEDS Instructor for the Air National Guard, I have often wondered how the training I instructed paid off in the real world. This past spring, my question was answered. I did meet and train with now LTC Lekher. She is a very consummate and quiet professional. I now know what I do does make a difference to many. Thanks for your time and thank you for letting me share.

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