Wisconsin – -(AmmoLand.com)- It’s Ft. Benning Georgia, fourth day out in the field on a patrolling exercise.
The Ranger instructors advised us we were going to take “casualties” in the next attack and we needed to be ready to make field-expedient litters (stretchers) out of tree branches and our G.I. ponchos like they teach you in the field manual. Of course, the Rangers had to pick the biggest guys in the platoon to play the injured soldier, wounded miles behind enemy lines. For miles we had to carry our wounded comrade-in-arms back to safety.
Even with a factory-made stretcher, it was going to be real work to carry the soldier for miles but the poncho and tree branch system was a mess. I always wondered if there was a better way, and there is, it is the Yard Glider, the cart without wheels.
The Yard Glider is a large sheet of flat but flexible plastic that Mr. William Behrends designed to roll up for easy shipping and unroll for unprecedented ease of utilization in the field. The Yard Glider comes in four-foot-wide sheets of varying lengths. There is also a 60-inch wide model. It has a metal bar bolted on the front with a set of steel cables coming together to be pulled by a yard tractor, an ATV, or some soldiers in the field on foot moving a wounded troop to the rear, to first echelon combat medical help.
There are integrated handles on the outer edges of the Yard Glider that you can use to cross lace large or unstable items to the Glider. HDPE plastic and UHMW plastic are used in the main body of the Yard Glider.
The plastic used has a smooth but slick feel to the surface that facilitates easy gliding on almost any open ground. You have to be careful about paved or concreted surfaces, as well as very rocky areas with stones sticking up to create hot spots, that could allow for holes to wear through the Glider.
When I first saw a video of the Yard Glider I immediately thought of Infantry training and years of follow-on, real-world operations and how we could have used the Glider in the field for many applications. For one thing, the Army loves to issue too much gear for the average ground-pounding leg Infantryman to haul on their back. If every squad of soldiers and every military vehicle had a Yard Glider on hand, the old Clint Eastwood / Gunny Highway concept of adapt, improvise and overcome would kick in nicely. The Yard Glider would find hundreds of ways to make a Soldier’s life a little easier in the field.
Obviously, you could pull large piles of military stock to the front lines of operations behind an ATV. You could pull a third to a half of the same gear on a Yard Glider behind a couple of young healthy fire-eating Marines walking and running all the way to the sound of the “guns.”
The idea of strapping a US military litter/stretcher onto a Yard Glider and then placing an injured or wounded G.I. on the “rig” to expedite getting that person to the rear more rapidly, is key and essential. Not wearing out the stretcher-bearers by “gliding” the wounded to safety increases the efficiency and mobility of the Troops who will have to return to the front lines again and again to remove more of the injured.
I really have come to dislike the worn-out phrase “work smarter, not harder.” However, in the case of a Yard Glider, its use in field operations, in the hands of some young Airmen working to get the job done right, will drive success. Accomplishing this, the first time and without expending more energy than need be, makes sound common sense.
Now if you are not in combat and you are not hauling cords of firewood on your back uphill in a snowstorm, perhaps you “Hunt with a Henry” rifle?
Have you ever considered how you would get your beloved Henry lever action rifle out of the field should a calamity befall and your Henry became distressed or damaged? The suggested proper way to safely remove the Henry back to hard surface and on its way to urgent care in Rice Lake (God’s country) Wisconsin, International Head Quarters of Henry Rifles (https://www.henryusa.com/), is to use a Yard Glider wheel-less cart.
Also, should your brother-in-law, who you really did not what to take on the hunting trip, break his leg you can safely and gently remove him from the field using the Henry / Yard Glider method.
Place your ever-ready to serve Yard Glider on the ground behind your favorite ATV. Place a military litter/stretcher on the “Glider” and gently but securely lash your beloved Henry rifle onto the combination. Start out slow and stop along the way to make sure your Henry is safe and out of pain and danger. If you do not have an ATV to pull the Yard Glider then it is time to be that human mule and tow the Henry to the rear for lever gun triage.
The Yard Glider is limited in its use only by the imagination of its owner. Take a look at their website. People are hauling firewood, broken-down ATVs & snowmobiles, yard brush, and even coffins onto a water-drenched cemetery when a heavy wheeled vehicle could not make that final trip.
Cases of Ammo Inc, ammunition can be easily towed to your secured redoubt along with other hard assets needed in times of crisis.
Once you see the Yard Glider up close and then hitch it to your ATV you wonder why someone else did not put this item on the market years ago.
Save a Henry–ride a Yard Glider.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
U.S. Army Casualty Evacuation Manual
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force, was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safety and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]
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