Maj. Michael Jason and his team from the 4th Infantry Division evacuated ABC News' Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt from the danger zone just minutes after the roadside bombing in Iraq.
"That's what we call the golden hour," Jason said. "If the combat lifesaver can get to the injured soldier or civilian right away, we can buy -- we think -- an hour of time to get him to the next level of treatment, and that's exactly what happened."
Nearly all the soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division receive combat lifesaving training. Jason's unit and its Iraqi translator have regularly accompanied Iraqi soldiers on routine, yet risky patrols -- like the one in which Woodruff and Vogt were injured.
"We were moving into an area that we knew to be a very hot zone where there's a lot of insurgent activity," said First Sgt. John McFarlane.
"I remember looking down, looking at my map ... looked up and the next thing I saw was a big black cloud of smoke and I heard the boom," said Maj. Bill Taylor. "And immediately I knew we had hit an IED [improvised explosive device]."
"I heard a big boom and vehicle stopped," said the translator.
For most of these soldiers, it was their first encounter with an IED. But the interpreter has seen his share.
"I have been through 37 IEDs before," he said. "Twenty five of them went off exactly on my vehicle. I've been injured three times."
He was in the Iraqi armed vehicle with Woodruff and Vogt when the IED exploded. He was the first to give the two medical attention. Citing concerns about his own safety, he preferred not to be identified.
"I saw just Bob's face hanging from the hatch, and blood was dropping inside, so I pull him inside and tried to reposition him on his back," he said. "I was looking for the wounds."
McFarlane retired from the Army after 21 years but returned to fight in Iraq.
"First thing I saw was Doug bleeding heavily from the face," he said. "[I] made a quick assessment of him and realized that he was going to be an ambulatory case. Then I looked over and I saw Bob, who had collapsed on the floor. And my initial assessment of him was that he was dead."
'We're Going to Get You Out of Here'
"Everything happened at one time," said Jason, "and we were dealing with wounded and enemy fire and a multitude of elements converging on the battlefield at once. The confusion, the din, the noise, all those things happening at once."
"I yelled to Sgt. McFarlane," said Taylor, "and I asked how bad are the casualties, and he said, 'They're bad. We have to get them out of here.'"
Taylor immediately called for a helicopter medevac unit. McFarlane flagged down a Bradley vehicle to transport Woodruff and Vogt to the helicopter
Staff Sgt. Glen Young administered first aid.
Said Taylor: "His eyes were open and I said, 'Bob, we're going to get you out of here. There's a helicopter on the ground.' He looked at me and said OK. Picked up the stretcher, we got him onto the helicopter."
When it was over, they say it was all a blur.
"The helicopter took off," said Young, "and we all just looked at each other and just stood there."
'Longest 24 Minutes of My Life'
"My driver walked up next to me," said Taylor, "and I looked down at my watch, and I looked at him, and I said, 'What time did this start?' It was only 24 minutes prior to when the bird lifted off. I thought it was one hour, two hours. It amazed me that it had only been 24 minutes. Probably the longest 24 minutes of my life."
These men all have families back home. Sgt. McFarlane has two grandchildren. Maj. Jason has a loving wife back in Washington, D.C. Sgt.Young tries to keep his wife back in Texas from knowing too much and worrying. This time, though, she was bound to find out.
"I have a wife who is very mad at me right about now," he said. "I called her up and told her what was going on. She gave me one of those, 'Oh, congratulations,' and then she hung up with me. I love my wife very much. That's why I try not to tell her everything that's going on."
Sunday was a nightmarish day for everyone involved, but amazingly, it was far from unprecedented for the 136,000 American troops who risk their lives in Iraq each and every day.
"I say to all American soldiers -- regardless of if you're infantry or you're not. If you're a tanker, whatever you are, always believe in yourself and knowing that you can do anything that's possible," said Young.
"You've got to be confident in your training," said Taylor. "Got to be confident in yourself, and you've got to be confident in your soldiers. Guys' lives depend on it, and in this case, they did."
"I kind of thought of a 'Henry V' line," said Jason, referring to the Shakespeare drama. "'Those of you that shed your blood today with me will forever be my brother.'"