When I saw the PhotoHunt theme for this week, I knew that I wanted to recognize the men and women who have served in combat to protect us over the years. I also wanted to recognize one particular veteran of Iraq who is near and dear to me. Though I did not serve in the Armed Services, my work over the years has often been in support of the US military. The first two images are of Arlington National Cemetery. What looks like show through the middle of the above image are the 300,000 headstones. Approximately 28 funerals a day are conducted at Arlington. Some are veterans of WW II, Korea and Vietnam; others are veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq.
My oldest daughter is the individual I want to recognize. During her freshman year of college, she called me and said "Dad, I got an ROTC scholarship." She wanted to be a doctor so when filling out the Army paper work her senior year, she wrote "medical" as her preference. Army Personnel wrote back with "signal." After serving her required four years as a Signal Corps officer, she took the admission tests and was accepted at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Upon graduation and completion of her internship, she served as medical officer in Korea and then entered surgical residency. She also completed a vascular surgery fellowship. During this time most of her patients were retired military. In January 2004 she deployed with the 31-st Combat Support Hospital to Ibn Sina Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq. During this time the team treated US and coalition wounded, Iraqi civilians and enemy prisoners.
photograph by member of 31-st CSH
Upon her return we had a family reunion in Hershey, PA. (She wanted chocolate! It doesn't survive the heat in Iraq!)
photo by Marianne
Since returning from Iraq, her work has focused on the wounded warriors, first at Fort Sam Houston and now at Fort Hood. The shootings Thursday at Fort Hood are tragic, especially since the shooter was one who had dedicated his life to helping others. We were able to talk to her briefly after the first news here and learned that she is okay but very busy. Last night I reread the journal she kept while in Iraq. I was reminded again how much our soldiers have sacrificed and the complete dedication of the medical professionals who care for the wounded. The person who committed the terrible acts Thursday is an aberration.
Ginny, I am so proud of you and I thank you for the service you and your colleagues have given and are giving to our country.