As people across the nation gathered to remember the anniversary September 11 on Wednesday, one local soldier shared her personal experience with residents at Heathwood Assisted Living.
Stacy Fogarty, 27, of Greece, joined the Air Force after high school and was deployed to Iraq in 2007. She was stationed at a base hospital where she served in medical logistics.
The environment was volatile, and Fogarty said she and her peers were not permitted to return fire if they were attacked, due to the military’s strict Geneva Conventions.
“Although I had a gun, I wasn’t allowed to use it,” she said. “We were very vulnerable as medical staff.”
Many injured patients, including Iraqi civilians, would arrive by helicopter as she and other medical staff rushed them into the emergency room. Many of the casualties they treated were the result of bombings nearby.
She remembers treating a boy who was burned from head to toe after his neighbor planted a bomb in his family’s home. Fogarty helped as staff revived him back to life four times.
Although the job was often stressful, she said these kinds of experiences allowed her to be part of the good work troops accomplished on the ground in Iraq.
“Luckily for me, I saw a lot of healing and helping because I was in the hospital,” she said.
After hearing this, one listener at Heathwood responded by saying, “God bless you for that.”
Fogarty spent four years in the Air Force’s active reserves after returning from war in 2008. She completed this term in January and now lives in Greece and works at Veteran’s Outreach Center in Rochester managing a peer mentorship program for returning vets.
Heathwood resident and Army veteran Richard Ball stood and applauded after her talk.
“I think she did a very good job explaining a nice situation to help people and heal them, and I think it’s important for us to hear that side of things.”
A number of Heathwood residents served in the armed forces themselves, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Fogarty was sure to thank them for their sacrifices.
“It’s always an honor to meet some of the veterans who came before me,” she said.