Sgt. Michael Blake, a lifesaver in Kuwait
Quick action by Staff Sgt. Michael Blake, originally of Oak Bluffs, helped save a critically injured U.S. Army civilian contractor involved in a head-on collision on a main supply route in Kuwait's Udairi Desert on March 25.
Staff Sgt. Blake, a scout section sergeant assigned to Troop A, 7-10 Cavalry Regiment, was traveling in a convoy bound for port operations in Kuwait when the Army contractor crashed a sports utility vehicle into a light pole, according to a recent article in the NewsBlaze Daily News by Spc. David Hodge.
Trained in combat trauma casualty care, Staff Sgt. Blake rushed over to where the man lay sprawled on the ground. He immediately provided first aid to the injured man, with help from a medic platoon leader, while another solider contacted emergency personnel. Noting the man had possibly fractured his wrist, Staff Sgt. Blake made a makeshift splint for it out of two magazines, and cleaned and dressed some lacerations on the man's forearm.
He positioned himself so his shadow would keep the sun off the injured man, to keep him as comfortable as possible while waiting for emergency medical services to arrive, according to the News Blaze article. The injured man said he tasted blood, which Staff Sgt. Blake knew from his training could be an indication of possible internal injuries. He later learned the man had suffered damage to the aortic valve in his heart.
Staff Sgt. Blake started his third tour of 15 months in Iraq in February. He is assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division- Baghdad.
Staff Sgt. Blake's mother Bertha, who works at Martha's Vineyard Hospital, said in a phone call this week that she and her husband Daniel are very proud of their son.
"Part of what he did comes from experience, from being over there numerous times and seeing injuries, and his training," Ms. Blake said. "Part of it is who he is. He is truly a soldier and takes it very seriously."
Staff Sgt. Blake grew up in Oak Bluffs. He joined the Army right after graduating from Martha's Vineyard Regional High School and has served 11 years.
He has two brothers, Aaron Blake, who lives on the Island, and U.S. Army Specialist Daniel Blake, who is stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C.