Petty Officer Kirby began to list the schools he had attended to be ready for this moment. Some he had paid for himself, he said, to be extra-prepared.
In one course, an advanced trauma treatment program he had taken before deploying, he said, the instructors gave each corpsman an anesthetized pig.
"The idea is to work with live tissue," he said. "You get a pig and you keep it alive. And every time I did something to help him, they would wound him again. So you see what shock does, and what happens when more wounds are received by a wounded creature."
"My pig?" he said. "They shot him twice in the face with a 9-millimeter pistol, and then six times with an AK-47 and then twice with a 12-gauge shotgun. And then he was set on fire."
"I kept him alive for 15 hours," he said. "That was my pig."
"That was my pig," he said.
He paused. "Smith is my friend."
He looked at his bloody hands. "You got some water?" he said. "I want some water. I just want to wash my wedding band."
Full NYT story by C.J. Chivers here.