The Pinto

Our 8th car, a 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon (number 645) is dedicated to the Army Medics and Navy Corpsman who served in the Vietnam War. During this war, 10,000 Navy Hospital Corpsmen served with their Marine brothers in the field.  Of these, 645 of them were killed in action and 3,300 were wounded in action. Navy Corpsman trained alongside their Marines and served in combat missions ready to provide first aid and trauma care on the battlefield.  A soldier or Marine in Vietnam had a 98% chance of survival if he was evacuated within the first hour of being injured — the best odds in the history of American warfare up to that time. It was the medic or corpsman who held death at bay during that crucial period. Unlike their predecessors in previous wars, medics and corpsmen in Vietnam fought alongside their fellow soldiers and Marines — many carried rifles, sidearms, even hand grenades along with their medical kits. When a soldier or Marine was injured on the battlefield, it was the training, composure, and medical kit of the corpsman or medic that often meant the difference between life and death. There are countless stories of medics and corpsmen risking their own lives to save wounded troops, and at least twenty of them earned the Medal of Honor – our nation’s highest award for courage under fire. (Source: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund – Medics and Corpsmen).

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