Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Face of Freedom ~ Dr Martin Holland

Top Surgeon Enlists
"Hello, I'm the chief of neurotrauma surgery
for the city of San Francisco,
and I'd like to join the Navy,"
he said to the recruiter.

Dr. Martin Holland (right) leaves a patient who has a head wound after an evaluation at the Balboa Naval Medical Center where he is one of four Navy neurosurgeons. He would like to serve in Iraq if only for a short time. Photo by Sandy Huffaker, special to the SF Chronicle.

Excerpts from, article by John Koopman, SF Chronicle

If Dr. Martin Holland had his way, he'd be in Iraq right now. In Fallujah or Ramadi or Baghdad. Up to his elbows in blood and brain matter, operating on Marines and soldiers with severe head injuries.

As it happens, it's unlikely the doctor will find himself hovering over a battlefield operating table. But he has a strong desire to serve - to do something for the troops suffering severe combat injuries. Instead of teaching residents and interns, Holland is wearing Navy whites and operating on sailors and Marines in San Diego, at the Balboa Naval Medical Center.

Holland is not an 18-year-old who joins the Marines fresh out of high school. He's 44, and he quit a prestigious job as director of neurotrauma at UC San Francisco. But there are similarities: both put aside personal lives to enlist in the military.

"When I was a kid, I loved stories about knights in shining armor. There was something very appealing about the ideals of honor, courage and all that kind of stuff. The only thing I saw in the modern world that was even close to that code of chivalry was, one, the military, and two, was medicine with the Hippocratic oath."

In June 2005, he took the oath and entered the Navy at the rank of commander. He said the Navy offered to make him a captain, because of his medical experience. But, he didn't feel comfortable with such a high rank because of his lack of military background.

"I can look at myself in the mirror and just feel good that I'm doing things for the right reason."

To read his entire story:


Mike's America said...

Glad to see that not everyone in SF is a military hating loon.

Don't know if you saw the "textbook" I posted that was approved for SF schools.

I say force SF to secede from the nation, withdraw all military and police units from the city and use them to man a fence sealing off the city from the outside and let Nancy Pelosi stew in her own juices.

Sarge Charlie said...

There are some great Americans left, unfortunately they are not in the House of Representivies. Check out my post today.

De'on Miller said...

Such a great story. I think there really are a great many people with this kind of honor. We just don't hear about it enough.

But no, it's not in DC land.

But still, it is good news!

Ron Simpson said...

good fo him!