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January 2, 2003


LA CROSSE, Wis.—The movie Black Hawk Down details the American siege of Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993. One of the most bloody battles in recent memory, it was hell on the U.S. Rangers involved, but what was it like for the medical corp who had to assist with the 18 dead and provide care to many wounded?  Find out during "Black Hawk Down: The Rest of the Story," a free talk at Viterbo University’s San Damiano Chapel at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16.

Retired Army Colonel and Viterbo University professor Carl Bargabos, who served in the 46th Medical Task Force in Mogadishu, Somalia during Black Hawk Down will share how his unit responded to the largest U.S. battle since the Vietnam War. The talk includes video of his unit’s arrival in and departure from Mogadishu, a brief history of Somalia, and discussion of what happens after the wounded are removed from the battlefield.

Bargabos was stationed in Somalia from July 1993 to March 1994 as the chief nurse of the 46th Medical Task Force, which saw 4,903 out patients and admitted 568.

Following the Black Hawk Down incident, the 46th Medical Task Force was the receiving hospital for the 73 injured task force rangers and received many of the 18 deceased soldiers. "We remained fully operational and many of us received little sleep or rest for some 77 hours as we triaged , performed life saving surgery, and sustained soldiers on life support until we could transfer the soldiers to Germany," said Bargabos. The 46th also received Michael Durant, the Black Hawk pilot who was taken captive after his Black Hawk helicopter was downed by a rocket launched grenade.

Bargabos was an Army Nurse Corp officer for over 26 years. He’s been stationed in Hawaii, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Somalia, and several locations throughout the U.S. Currently he is an assistant professor of nursing in the RN to BSN program at Viterbo University in La Crosse. He resides in Cashton.

This talk is free and open to the public. It is part of the Viterbo University St. Rose Lecture Series, begun last year to establish a dialogue on contemporary Catholic issues. The series is named for St. Rose of Viterbo, for whom the St. Rose Convent in La Crosse was named. She was a contemporary of St. Clare of Assisi and a follower of the values espoused by St. Francis of Assisi.

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