He ought to be screaming in pain

After two years of working at Fort Bragg, NC, as a Clinic Director, I was approached by the secret DELTA Force organization. They asked me to apply for the job of the unit’s Command Surgeon. “Surgeon” is a military title given to physicians of any specialty when assigned to a medical command and staff position in the military. As a family physician, I was invited to become the senior medical advisor to the commander.

I was recruited in part because of my past special operations experience as a Navy SEAL. I accepted the position and reported to the Deputy Commander’s office for my initial brief.
“Doc,” pronounced the intent colonel. “I’ve done the job of every officer on my staff, except yours. I can never do your job, but I consider it essential to our command’s success. I want you to provide the best medical care in the military to my staff and their families. I’ll expect you to ask for what you need to accomplish this, and when you ask me, I will approve it every time. I’m not qualified to argue with you, so if you say we need it, you’ll get it.”

That promise was never broken. Our clinic building was expanded and renamed in honor of unit medics killed in combat. Then we opened the doors to family members. We added a dental clinic, provided obstetrics care, and began delivering the children of unit moms. I delivered forty-four babies for these families. When I return now for reunion gatherings, there is always a mom or dad that regales me with stories of their children that I delivered. Good times.

Challenging patients frequently presented themselves because of the constant training with live weapons, explosive ordinance, parachuting, and aviation operations.
“Eagle down,” came the message to my secure phone. “There has been an accident in the field with an explosive injury to a hand. He’s en route to the hospital now,” finished the voice on my secure phone.
“Roger that. I’m on my way. Give me his name, please.” The name was passed, and as many times before, I drove above the speed limit to the emergency room. I arrived soon after the casualty did and was met by the nurse, who expected me.
“Hello, Doctor Adams,” she breathed. “Your patient is in room three. He may have lost his hand.”