A former major in the Army, I am a proud Iraq war veteran with twelve years of service.
uring my time in service, I learned a critical skill: the art of triage. For me, practicing medicine and saving lives comes easily. The real challenge was in being able to set priorities and make tough decisions under tremendous pressure—all while remaining calm, focused, and functional.
I received the Bronze Star Medal for completing one of the longest combat tours by a physician since World War II and serving as one of the sole frontline physicians in the Second Battle of Fallujah. I am also a Combat Medical Badge recipient, for participating in combat operations under enemy hostile fire.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, I cared for thousands of wounded soldiers and Iraqi civilians and provided front line emergency care during the peak of insurgencies in Baghdad and Najaf.
One of the biggest challenges of my military service came when the U.S. forces selected me to treat Saddam Hussein after his capture. In addition, I was one of the only front line physicians in the Second Battle of Fallujah, while protected by overhead snipers such as Chris Kyle, “The American Sniper.” I was later recognized as a CNN Hero for my commitment to my service and practice under extraordinary circumstances.
When not on missions, I volunteered my free time by serving at the busiest trauma center in the world at that time, the Ibn Sina Hospital, Baghdad.
These experiences taught me one of the most important lessons of my life: how to gracefully face the extreme and the unprecedented—events that no textbook, checklist, or protocol could ever fully prepare you for.
In these circumstances, I refined my ability to motivate teams and manage crises. Because I often lacked traditional resources and time, I learned how to quickly develop creative solutions to challenges.
Today I am a proud veteran leading a life of health, security, and fulfillment. But I recognize that many veterans are not so fortunate.
Even though they may be finished fighting our enemies abroad, America’s veterans frequently continue their battle against injuries and illnesses sustained as they were fulfilling their duties to our country. The health challenges they face are unique, almost entirely unlike those faced by any other demographic in America.
That’s why I founded The Battle Continues, a nonprofit charity advocating for the health needs of veterans. Our commitment to our brave military members should not end when they come home, because we know that the fight does not end there. Learn more about how you can help veterans and make a donation at TheBattleContinues.org.