The Pittsburgh Press (November 21, 1944)
By Ernie Pyle
The Treasury Department asked Ernie Pyle to write a special article for use in the Sixth War Loan Drive. The most appropriate place to publish it, it seems to us, is this editorial column. Here it is:
This little piece comes more in the blood-bank category than in the bond-buying one, yet if you’ll apply it to your bond-buying, it may help save a great deal of blood.
This fall I came home from France on a ship that carried 1,000 of our wounded American soldiers. About a fourth of them were terribly wounded stretcher cases. The rest were up and about. These others could walk, though among the walking were many legs and arms missing, many eyes that could not see.
Well, there was one hospitalized soldier who was near death on this trip. He was wounded internally, and the Army doctors were trying desperately to keep him alive until we got to America. They operated several times, and they kept pouring plasma and whole blood into him constantly, until they ran out of whole blood.
I happened to be in the head doctor’s cabin at noon one day when he was talking about this boy. He said he had his other doctors at that moment going around the ship typing blood specimens from several of the ship’s officers, and from unwounded Army and Navy officers aboard. They were doing it almost surreptitiously, for they didn’t want it to get out that they needed blood.
And why didn’t they want it to get out? Because if it had, there would have been a stampede to the hospital ward by the other wounded men, offering their blood to this dying comrade. Think of that – a stampede of men themselves badly wounded, wanting to give their blood!
If they, who had already given so much, were willing to give even more for their fellow men, isn’t it the least we can do for those fellow men still fighting to stampede to the bond counter?