Talking To A Hero

I’ve been meaning to watch Band of Brothers. I have seen a few episodes, but I recently got a hold of the entire mini-series. The above picture shows the characters from the show.

The reason I thought of the show is that I recently had the opportunity to chat with an amazing patient. The patient fought in World War II. He landed in Normandy and fought in Europe until the war ended.

I can’t even begin to imagine the kinds of stories this man could tell. My attending physician told me that in the past, the patient has brought in pictures from the war. I wish I could have sat with him and talked casually about the war. I would have loved to see the pictures and hear him retell the tales. But it was neither the time, nor place for this. We were in clinic. But I still felt like I was in the presence of one our national heroes.

He was so polite and gracious, thanking me — a medical student — for what I was doing. And here I was sitting in front of someone who lived through some of the most violent years in modern history, who fought for his country through the worst of times.

I truly felt honored to have been able to participate, in a very small way, in this veteran’s care. I’ve heard that the ranks of men who came back from the 2nd World War are slowly thinning. It’ll be a sad day when the last of these men finally leaves us.

Note: I realize that I was vague about the time this occurred as well as on details of the patient’s service and case. Again, this is to comply with HIPAA regulations and to protect the patient’s privacy.