Photo of Will Anderson, who is featured in the War: Through Their Eyes, Warriors & Nurses student multimedia project
In the Bag
Will Anderson, 27, sports the uniform of most third-year nursing students—hospital scrubs. He carries with him a sand-colored military issued backpack crammed with back-breaking textbooks. When other students grumble about lugging the bulky textbooks from class to class, Anderson smiles quietly. He knows how good he has it now, because not so long ago, he patrolled the Afghan desert lugging loads of combat gear on his back.
I weighed everything on me once. I’m not a very big guy. If I was out on the ground with my large bag in the truck it would be somewhere around 100 or 110 pounds, which literally doubled my weight.
In the bag, I’d have my vest, my eye protection, my weapon or two—my 9mm and my M16. All of that with the body armor was about 60 pounds. I carried one pack of medical supplies that usually stayed in our truck. I carried things like multiple liters of fluid in case someone was bleeding out, extra tourniquets, a hand suction device, different breathing apparatuses, and various drugs.
To read the entire story, please download this PDF.
In this video, Will Anderson discusses the moment he knew he'd be a combat medic, getting deployed and married and his renewed appreciation for education.
In this audio podcast, Will Anderson discusses the food situation during his 10-month tour in Afghanistan.
Podcast produced by multimedia news intern Brad Beck.
War: Through Their Eyes, Vol. 2, Warriors & Nurses, a student/faculty multimedia project that focuses on the veterans in the College of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Warriors & Nurses are the stories of the students and alumni who have seen war in the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts in the Middle East, and yet have found their way into a field of healing.
To read the entire 80-page book, please download this PDF. Warning, this is a large file.