Inside the Medical Tent at Boston

Dr. Martin Levine (bottom left in white) helps aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)

Martin is so skilled at waterskiing he seldom uses the skis anymore. He prefers the challenge of barefoot skiing on Lake Hopatcong that hugs his summer residence in New Jersey. Martin is my wife Risa’s first cousin, so I’ve known him for over 40 years. At every family event we played basketball against each other. We’d bang each other around on the court (he played for the North, I always played for the South) and then adjourn for the banter.

If there was an injury Martin would take over using his medical training to aid and comfort the hobbled participant.

It came as no big surprise that Dr. Martin Levine was one of the first doctors to reach the wounded at the Boston Marathon last Monday. He has run many such races and worked Boston for 13 years. He was in the medical tent tending to the irregular heart rhythms and dehydration issues that hit the runners coming in at the popular four hour mark that is such a great accomplishment for recreational runners who train religiously to run one marathon a year.

And then the bombs went off. Martin ran to the noise and smoke a half block away from the medical tent. On the basketball court Martin always attacked the basket, while I preferred the open jump shot. He loved the contact.

Martin encountered the carnage a couple minutes after the explosions. He begged people for belts and credentials lanyards – anything he could find for a tourniquet. The imperative was to stop the bleeding because most of the wounds were to the lower extremities from the BBs and ball bearings in the pressure cooker bombs.

Martin said time stood still amidst the chaos of bleeding and dying runners and spectators. But Martin was ready for this horror. The medical staff was well trained and experienced. These medical people were pros, and while they were not expecting a bomb attack they were in emergency triage mode immediately. Fortunately, the second bomb went off so soon after the first that it did not trap the first responders like at the fire at the fertilizer plant in Texas last week.

Martin did all that he could to help the wounded. He walked to a friend’s house after the ambulances had collected the wounded. Every noise seemed magnified. It was not like September 11th because he could walk away toward normalcy. But it did feel like war had come to Boston.

Question: Should Dzhokhar Tsarneav be tried in the criminal justice system or the military courts?

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19 thoughts on “Inside the Medical Tent at Boston

  1. Ed Gnifkowski

    What makes any one think that we have a dog in this fight. The powers will do whatever they think is their best politically beneficial call.

  2. Jim

    The military was not attacked. Why should a trial be held in a military court? Do you want it held in a secret military court? Do you think there is likely to be a higher chance of conviction or a harder sentence in a military court? I feel for the the survivors and I can’t help but be drawn in by the news media. However, for the amount a carnage this whole matter is being way over played. The casualties equate to a drug deal gone bad and a severe bus accident. Every once in awhile these things are going to happen. We learn from our mistakes, fix what we can and then go on. The terrorist are winning because we are letting them win.

  3. Josh Weaver

    To all the people saying military courts, you are vile. Whether you look it or not he was an American citizen. He has the RIGHTS of an American citizen. I don’t care if he has a funny name, or looks a little bit different(even though he is caucasian, literally from the caucssus). Was Timothy McVeigh tried in military courts? No. Was Terry Nichols, Ted Kaczynski, or the Colorado shooter? No? Then WHY ON EARTH should this AMERICAN CITIZEN be tried in military courts? The military DOES NOT try civilians! Is this not the same group of people who in the last question about Boston claimed they wouldn’t give up their freedom and liberty out of fear of terror? If you think he should be tried as an enemy combatant YOU ARE DOING JUST THAT. You are setting a precedent for ALL of OUR rights to be taken away.

  4. Josh Weaver

    Michael, NO. It isn’t. We have a legal system in this country that has the authority to try CRIMINALS. He is a CRIMINAL, who committed an act of terror, he is a murderer. We don’t try any other murderers in military courts. Why are you so keen on expanding military powers? Why doesn’t the military hold the trial for any other crime committed by AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. Because THE CONSTITUTION PROHIBITS IT. How are you so willing to shred that document and everything it stands for and protects?

  5. dave

    The gov’t has decided to use the civilian criminal courts since he is a US citizen. First time in years that the gov’t has decided to abide by the Constitution. ( What a novel concept! )

  6. Dean

    # 1 Revoke his Citizenship.

    # 2 Send him back to Crapistan where he came from.

    Bet the Ruskies will get him to talk. And he will never need a manacure after that if he lives.

  7. John "Jack" Frost

    Do any of you know what a military court does and what are its differences from civilian courts. I am retired from the military after 23 years of service including WWII. I have been a member, the president of, defense and prosecutor of a military court in war and in peace time. The Army Major who killed 12 comrades in a shooting spree at Fort Hood will be tried in military court. BTW one of the main differences between a military court and a U.S. civil court, are the rules of evidence. The offense in this case happened in a civilian environment, to the general public of that area ergo the venue should be civilian.
    Some exceptions to this basic rule are a little more complex. About 30 years ago the Israeli airforce and navy attacked the USN Liberty in international waters. If any of the attackers had dual citizenship US/Israeli they could be tried as traitors in attacking American Servicemen on official duty.

  8. Eric

    I hear there is some purging by the military and CIA, of documents and information on anything to do with explaining and training on the radical portion of the muslim religion, tactics, teaching, etc. Our own White House are bending to political correctness. Very scary!!
    By the way Josh, we have been fighting a war on terror that is uncoventional for at least a decade now. A military court makes perfect sense. He didn’t need to show up with a platoon of guys and a few tanks. WAKE UP AMERICA! These people aim to kill as many of us as they can and weaken our freedom and democracy… appeasement didn’t work in WWI or WWII. It won’t work now either.

  9. Bruskie

    Got to agree with the constitutionalists on this one. We have a good criminal justice system in this country. This young man will never be free to murder again. What is all this about Military Courts, Patriot Acts and denying the rights of the constitution? Law enforcement has many tools in which to tell who these monsters knew and who, or what entities or entity they were working with and law enforcement can do this within the constitution like they have always done. The idea that our civil liberties have to be striped form us because of criminals like this is dangerous and ludicrous. Let the law work and keep the liberties of the land intact. There are good reasons we have our freedoms in this country and we need to cherish this freedom, not throw it out because of our fear!

  10. jax thomas

    can someone tell me about the liberties of the 3 dead. where do there rights fall here. i think the most important right is the to stay alive. if you have to take away some of my other rights to do that, so be it. let the government do as much spying as they want, i have nothing to hide, the drones wont be flying over my house. tell me about the rights of the 3,000 people that died on 9/11. our forefarthers are laughing at us now. back then, we had the right to bear a musket. 100 years ago, these nuts would have already been taken care of.

  11. Emily Halgrimson

    It shocks me that some of the same people who complain about the government trampling on our rights all the time are so quick to skip the formalities promised to us as citizens of this country and basically say “kill the bastard.”

  12. jim buchanan

    Which ever court will find out the complete story and have him executed………but now that Holder has had the Miranda read to him I guess he will be tried in the POLITICAL COURT !

  13. Brian Hoff

    Criminal Court. He’s a citizen. Why does it feel as if racism and intolerance are creeping into our opinions? Our system will ensure this guy never hurts anyone again. We’ll be OK.


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