BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Sgt. Stacie Phillips, a combat medic in the U.S. Army Reserves, returned from Iraq last month to a warm welcome from her family, friends and Whitehouse Mayor Don Atkinson.
During the March 5 Whitehouse Village Council meeting, Atkinson recognized Stacie, a Whitehouse resident and 2007 Anthony Wayne High School graduate, for her service.
The daughter of Kathy and Gene Phillips – a recent Army retiree – and the sister of SKP Massage owner Stephanie Phillips, Stacie joined the Army Reserves in September 2013.
While she was taking classes at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, Stacie said she changed her major a few times. Then she decided to serve her country.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk,” she said.
With a goal to make a career in trauma medicine, and with a civilian EMT license, Stacie was assigned as a combat medic with the 983rd Combat Heavy Army Unit. When she deployed in March 2018, she was attached to the 878th Vertical Engineer Company of the North Carolina National Guard, composed mostly of carpenters, masons, plumbers and electricians, constructing buildings for troops stationed at Al-Asad Air Base.
Working with Danish, French, American and other doctors, she provided what she calls “tailgate medicine” – stabilizing patients before they were sent to the hospital.
“Thankfully, the worst injuries I saw were an eye injury from table saw debris and a deep cut from razor wire,” she said. “I saw several musculoskeletal injuries, a few broken fingers and toes, dislocated joints, dermatologic issues and a few concussions, nearly all on a daily basis.”
Medics are increasingly expected to spend more time with patients before they can be evacuated out, Stacie said, which means being able to administer drugs or perform whole blood transfusions in the field. On the civilian side, that would require a doctorate, she noted.
While in Iraq, Stacie decided to sign up for an additional six years. During that time, she hopes to also earn a nursing degree.
The Iraq deployment was her second, as she spent two weeks on a humanitarian mission to El Salvador, as well.
Last spring, Atkinson was in Local Thyme when he overheard Stephanie talking about her younger sister’s impending deployment. Without knowing Stacie’s name, Atkinson wrote a $50.00 check to help with her expenses.
“That was very unexpected,” said Stacie, who responded with a photo card of her and Stephanie.