EMTs, ATVs, and the Alley

  • Published
  • By Col. Murrell "Tip" Stinnette
  • 39th Air Base Wing Commander
The Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) were the first to arrive at the scene to find a severely injured man lying at the edge of a field. His stomach was torn open, he was covered with lacerations and bruises, and he had a prominent tire tread across his chest. 

His buddy raced up on his All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) to meet the two EMTs and began to explain what happened in a rather intoxicated Georgian accent. Apparently he and his friend had been "drinkin' and ridin' around the field" on the ATV when they sighted a stand of deer in their headlights. This is when they came up with the brilliant idea of bulldogging deer and proceeded to isolate a buck and race him down. His intoxicated buddy leapt from the ATV, grabbed the buck by the antlers, and performed an excellent example of rodeo bulldogging. After pinning the buck's head to the ground, the buck, less docile than a steer, simply got up, threw his head back, and tore his assailant's belly open. The buck then proceeded to stomp, kick, and butt him for good measure. The EMTs noticed that this information accounted for all of the injuries except one. When they asked the driver about the tire track across his injured friend's chest, he responded: "Well how else was I s'posed to git the deer off'im?" I don't know what is worse, the drunk knucklehead trying to wrestle a grown male deer like a steer, or the drunk knucklehead who ran over his injured friend to scare away the righteously angered animal.

I don't know which is worse, a drunk American in the Alley without a wingman, or two drunk Americans in the Alley playing the roll of "ugly Americans." Recently the 10th Tanker Command received a letter from a concerned citizen about the conduct of Americans in the Alley. To be honest, you do not need to live in the Alley to hear the noise from Cheers. The Turkish Wing Commander's house on base abuts the Alley and from there you can clearly hear everything that is happening in the Alley to include the drunk ranting of our airmen at Cheers and those returning to base. To be honest, I am always embarrassed when my Turkish counterparts bring this issue up because it is indefensible and I know they are right. This is why we deploy Eyes-On details in the Alley and yet we continue to have problems. Our Eyes-On details are much like the EMTs above...often they are performing the roll of first responders after things get out of hand. Wingmen are supposed to prevent things from getting out of hand. This is where we are breaking down and pretty much performing the roll of the drunk knucklehead who drives his ATV over his buddy. Our focus as wingman needs to be on prevention.

So here's the deal, we need to be respectful of the fact that we are guests...the Alley is not our playground...people live in and near the Alley and it is hard to sleep with drunk airmen yelling at the top of their lungs. We need to make responsible choices, our flight leads need to help us develop solid plans, our wingmen need to engage to prevent, and we need to conduct ourselves as guests and not ugly Americans. Don't be the knucklehead who attempts to bulldog a buck or the knucklehead who runs over his buddy...be a respectful representative of the United States who is committed to ensuring freedom's future.