Bill Koutrouba, a Spanaway resident who became a pioneering advocate for post-traumatic-stress care in the Puget Sound area after serving three tours in Vietnam as a combat medic, died Oct. 13 at Madigan Army Medical Center after a long illness. He was 70.By Adma Ashton
The News Tribune
October 21, 2012
Bill Koutrouba's three tours in Vietnam as a combat medic were just the beginning of the help he gave his fellow soldiers coping with the wounds of war.
In battle, he stanched bleeding limbs and held soldiers as they took their last breaths. He received six Purple Heart awards for his own wounds in combat, and three Silver Star medals for bravery.
At home, the Spanaway resident became a pioneering advocate for post-traumatic-stress care in the Puget Sound area during the 1980s and 1990s. He spoke up about his inner battles and guided veterans on civilian tours to Southeast Asia to confront their memories.
Mr. Koutrouba, 70, died Oct. 13 at Madigan Army Medical Center after a long illness.
In his last days, he received praise from Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, who thanked him in a letter for his service during the war and his willingness later in life to speak out about post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD).
"It is impossible to determine just how many people you saved in your lifetime," she wrote. "I imagine it is legions."
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