When I was 39 years old, I dialed 1-800-USA-ARMY and joined the Army Reserve. I received a direct commission as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Service Corps. Upon completion of the Officers Advanced Course in 2004, I promoted to the rank of major and then deployed in 2005 with the US Army’s 344th Combat Support Hospital, Task Force 344, to Abu Ghraib, Iraq, where I served as the podiatrist, the Chief of Surgery, and the Director of the Wound Care Clinic.
I also served as the assistant to the Deputy Commander, Clinical Services (DCCS), equivalent to Chief of Staff, and served as the acting DCCS for three months during my twelve month tour.
The 344th was responsible for detainee healthcare throughout the Iraqi theater, with the heart of the mission taking place at Abu Ghraib Prison Hospital. The 344th also cared for Soldiers, Marines, and Iraqi civilians. It was an honor to serve alongside the bravest men and women I will ever know. In May 2006, at the end of my yearlong combat tour in Iraq, I was awarded the Bronze Star, the Combat Action Badge, and numerous campaign medals.
In 2017, I was promoted to colonel and during my time in Congress, I’ve fulfilled my Reserve duties by serving at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, until retiring from the Army Reserve in 2022, after 24 years.