It was a sunny day last August and he had not been in Afghanistan more than a few months when my patient's platoon came under RPG fire from a Taliban group. That same day I was in the middle of an Orthopaedics rotation in New York. After two months of Navy surgical training for me and a painful recovery process in Germany for him, our paths crossed at the National Navy Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. The ensuing interaction inspired this reflection on my time with military medicine thus far, and my career as a Navy physician ahead.



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