COPING WITH DEATH AND DYING IN A COMBAT ENVIRONMENT
Health care provided by the medical specialist includes the following:
a. Make the casualty as comfortable as possible.
b. If possible, find someone who can sit with the soldier (hopefully, a buddy from
c. Offer to take care of unfinished business or notify his family, if possible.
The buddy of the deceased, or whoever is with the casualty at the time of his
death, can provide feedback to include when and where the soldier died.
d. Encourage the casualty to express feelings of grief.
e. If possible, make time for a brief service of some sort, however simple.
The expression of grief by survivors is important to prevent post-combat
psychological problems of those who saw their buddies killed in action. Many
of the mental health professionals now treating Vietnam veterans with post-
traumatic stress disorders feel that too often the soldiers didn't allow
themselves to grieve for their buddies at the time (or soon after), and so their
buddies' deaths still haunt the veterans today.