“The Docs: A Graphic Novel” features the war stories of four fictional characters deployed as corpsmen in Iraq. The Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) in San Diego developed the book, which was based on real corpsmen and Marines, the circumstances that they face in combat, and their personal experiences. It is part of Navy Medicine’s program, “Care for the Caregiver.”
Heidi Kraft, a clinical psychologist at the NHRC, shared: “Many of them are asked to play these dual roles, to function as one of that line unit but when someone is hurt, they are immediately turned to the caregiver role… Data shows our expeditionary corpsmen are struggling with a lot of these issues, and certainly that is not a surprise.” Kraft is also a former lieutenant commander and author of a war memoir, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital.”
Kraft shared further that the creators of The Docs wanted to come up with a tool that would be “hip, relevant and resonating” to the corpsmen that would be its audience. Graphic novels, according to Kraft, were popular with the age group to which most corpsmen belong. “The idea was to give Navy corpsmen a training tool, whether they are a junior corpsman or senior master chief who has gone multiple times, at any level to think about what they face in combat,” she said.