by Rick Winterson
Sunday morning on May 21, there was the 8 a.m. Memorial Mass at St. Brigid Church for Timothy John Cook – Tim “Doc” Cook – who was a Corpsman in the Marines in Iraq. Afterward, the Timothy “Doc” Cook Foundation awarded three $1,000 scholarships in his name. This event, the Fourth Annual, took place in St. Brigid Hall. Thomas Casper, Eric Lopes, and James McDonnell were the three scholarship recipients.
“Doc” was a hero in many ways – one of them, a highly unusual way. He was a Corpsman who brought medical care to the wounded on the battlefield, under actual hazardous combat conditions. In addition, he noticed that the ambulances for transporting the wounded away from the battleground were inadequate. They were HMMWVs (High Mobility Military Wheeled Vehicles, first called “Humm-Vees”, later called “Hummers”). They could only carry a few litters.
“Doc” thought of armoring a larger military truck and converting it into a large ambulance. So he put together an armored vehicle that could hold six litters, along with space for a corpsman to care for them in transit. It was formally called an armored mass casualty vehicle. Informally, “Doc’s” invention was known as “The Armadillo”.
He never got credit for his invention; it is impossible to know how many lives it saved. And “Doc” himself is no longer with us – he succumbed to PTSD-related complications after returning home. It is entirely fitting that the Timothy “Doc” Cook Foundation was established in his name. Not only that, this is historically the season when we honor veterans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice and paid with their lives.
Perhaps you would consider donating to “Doc’s” scholarship fund yourself. If you would, please go to the East Boston Savings Bank (East Broadway branch), or log onto https://www.gofundme.com/yadudedoc