War produces its own unique set of dangers and challenges for nurses on the battlefield. It is doubtful that what happened to Lance Cpl. Winder Perez was something that Lt. Cmdr. James Gennari of the US Navy Nurse Corps ever thought he would have to prepare for, however. A rocket propelled grenade (RPG) struck Perez, and remained embedded in his leg without exploding. Gennari explains his response: "I didn't give it more than a thought or two. I'm sent out there by the Marine Corps to save lives, and he was in danger, and I looked at it as my duty and my job." Gennari held Perez's hand, gave him pain medication, and promised him that he would stay by his side until he was safe. An explosive ordinance technician was called in to assist, and he was able to remove the grenade without detonating it.
A video from CNN features an interview with Gennari, and more can be read at KYPost.com and Huffington Post. It is always a goal of The College Network Nursing Blog to honor heroes of the nursing profession, and this story truly stands out. Kudos to James Gennari for his exceptional bravery and patient care, and best wishes to Winder Perez for recovery!