Honoring Fallen Docs – 9 March 2009

Those of us who have served in combat know there is no more essential member of a field unit than a corpsman or medic, who at the risk of his or her own life, answers without hesitation the call of “Medic Up” or “Corpsman Up.”

So, it's fitting that on March 11, 2009, that Dr. S. Ward Casscells, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and the Military Health System, will hold the first Fallen Military Medical Personnel Remembrance Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, with an emphasis on those medical personnel who have perished in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. The idea is to hold an annual ceremony.

An MHS spokeswoman said about 225 military medical personnel – which include doctors and nurses as well as medics and corpsmen – have perished in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. About 78 of their family members from 25 states and territories, including Guam, will be at the ceremony, she said.

Speakers include Casscells; Deborah Mullen, wife of Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Bob Woodruff, the ABC news anchor who was severely wounded in Iraq and recovered at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Guests include Admiral Mullen and Pete Geren, Secretary of the Army.

The ceremony will start at noon at Cemetery Section 60 (along York Drive) at Arlington National Cemetery. All are welcome – so take a lunch break to honor the docs.

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