As a trauma nurse in the U.S. Army Reserves, Maj. Kathy Sego didn’t think she’d ever have to hear the words, “Prepare to defend the hospital.” 

While spending the last six months in Afghanistan—she was first deployed to Herat and then went to Kabul—Sego provided medical care to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and also Afghan civilians and refugees during the Taliban takeover. Many of the children she treated were badly injured by IEDs, shrapnel and rubber bullets. In late August, on the day of multiple explosions just outside the airport, Sego delivered an Afghan baby and treated one of the U.S. Marines who was killed in the attack. 

She worked 21 straight hours, took four hours off and worked another 15. She helped evacuate 55 patients in less than 24 hours, staying by their side until all refugees were gone on Aug. 30. 

The Karzai International Airport was the only way out, as the Taliban had taken control of all border crossings. The airlift was the largest non-combatant evacuation mission in the history of the United States military. 

For more on this story, see the Sept. 16 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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