Caring for the Wounded: The Story of Two Marines

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Last November, 1st Sgt. Brad Kasal and Lance Cpl. Alex Nicoll were seriously injured in one of the fiercest battles of the Iraq war.

Kasal and Nicoll had been with a Marine unit conducting house-to-house searches for insurgents in Fallujah. When fellow Marines entered one house, they were injured by insurgents inside. Nicoll and Kasal went in to retrieve their comrades, but soon were severely wounded themselves while temporarily cornered in a room on the bottom floor.

Fellow Marines help First Sgt. Brad Kasal, who is still holding his weapon, exit the house. i i

Marine 1st Sgt. Brad Kasal, who is still holding his weapon, gets help exiting the house in Fallujah. Kasal used his own body to shield Nicoll from a grenade blast. Lucian Read/World Picture News hide caption

itoggle caption Lucian Read/World Picture News
Fellow Marines help First Sgt. Brad Kasal, who is still holding his weapon, exit the house.

Marine 1st Sgt. Brad Kasal, who is still holding his weapon, gets help exiting the house in Fallujah. Kasal used his own body to shield Nicoll from a grenade blast.

Lucian Read/World Picture News

Listen: Hear photographer Lucian Read talk about taking this photograph of Kasal.

Fellow Marines rescued Lance Cpl. Alex Nicoll from the house full of insurgents in Fallujah. i i

Fellow Marines rescued Lance Cpl. Alex Nicoll from the house full of insurgents in Fallujah. This photo was taken just after he was removed from the house. Lucian Read/World Picture News hide caption

itoggle caption Lucian Read/World Picture News
Fellow Marines rescued Lance Cpl. Alex Nicoll from the house full of insurgents in Fallujah.

Fellow Marines rescued Lance Cpl. Alex Nicoll from the house full of insurgents in Fallujah. This photo was taken just after he was removed from the house.

Lucian Read/World Picture News

Listen: Hear photographer Lucian Read recall Nicoll's rescue.

In the past, their wounds might have killed them. But thanks to better body armor, battlefront mini-hospitals and quick flights back to the United States for treatment, American troops injured in Iraq are probably receiving better medical care than ever. In a three-part report, NPR's Joseph Shapiro follows the two Marines' recovery.

Web Extra: Eyewitness Account

Photographer Lucian Read of World Picture News was embedded with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion 1st Marines in Fallujah. He was with Nicoll and 1st Sgt. Brad Kasal when, during a house-to-house hunt for insurgents last November, the two Marines were wounded and close to death in some of the most intense fighting of the Iraq war so far.

Read talked about the events of that day with NPR's Joe Shapiro. Excerpts of that interview are below.

Hear Lucian Read recall...

Listen: How a Quiet Morning Turned Deadly

Listen: How Kasal Ended Up at the House on the Day of the Firefight

Listen: How the Marines Stormed the House & Got the Wounded Out

Listen: The Intensity of Fighting & the Sounds of Battle, Visible in Read's Photo of Nicoll Just After His Rescue

Listen: The Final Moments of Sgt. Byron Norwood, Whose Parents Were With President Bush During the 2005 State of the Union Address

Listen: What It Was Like to Work Under Battle Conditions

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