Several friends of mine have asked if I would discuss some of the aspects of the military that would be of interest to readers. The next three or four articles will do just that. Think back to the days of Desert Storm, early 1991. War with Saddam Hussein was imminent. The United States was in the process of amassing a large contingent of forces in the Middle East before the battle started. Many National Guard and Reserve units, as well as individual reservists, were called to active duty and dispatched overseas to be a part of this force. Doctor (Navy Captain reservist) Jewell Malick had spent five years on active duty as a Navy doctor and was now in private practice in Kirksville, Missouri. She was skiing in Canada in December of 1990 when she got a call from her office. “You have a courier package from the Department of the Navy,” her office manager told her. Surprise of all surprises! It was orders calling for Dr. Malick to report in two weeks to the Naval Reserve Center in St. Louis, where she would be joining other individual reservists to form and deploy the Navy Fleet Hospital in support of the upcoming war in the Middle East. Arriving in St Louis on Jan. 1, 1991, between 80 and 100 doctors, along with all the supporting personnel, totaling 900 Navy reservists, most of whom had never seen each other, were given their instructions. They would be transported to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for staging, then flown to the island of Bahrain off the coast of Saudi Arabia, where they would be met by Navy Seabees, who will prepare the area and assist in the establishment of the fleet hospital. All the personnel left for Bahrain on Jan. 18, one month after Dr. Malik had been notified that she was being recalled to active duty. Method of transport: Hawaiian Airlines, to include the island music all the way to Bahrain. Once they arrived, they found the hospital was not complete. But a local prison was made available for sleeping quarters and the administration area. In two weeks, personnel erected the complete hospital, and it was ready to receive patients. But the war had not started and there were no patients! According to Dr. Malik, the highlight of each day was mail call. Unfortunately, the mail had not caught up with where all the personnel were, so many letters received were addressed to “Any Serviceman or Woman.” Personnel stood in line each day to receive and read these letters of encouragement! Several days before the ground war started, the QE II cruise liner pulled into the harbor at Bahrain and all the hospital personnel were given two-day vacations to spend on the ship. According to Dr. Malick, one of her highlights of the experience was sitting in the ship theater hearing Lee Greenwood sing “Proud to be an American,” which was sung to all the assembled service men and women. “Looking around was one of the more patriotic things I had seen, and it made me proud to be an American and proud of the younger generation following along behind we older folks.” Fortunately, the war was short lived, and the Naval Hospital was deactivated in April. All the personnel returned to the States. While in Bahrain, 16 total casualties were seen by hospital personnel. The most serious case was a septic gallbladder! Returning to her home in Kirksville, Dr. Malick was concerned about mortgage payments and other expenses, as she had been gone from civilian work and income for about five months. Here is where she received the second most memorable thing of her deployment. The president of the local bank told her, “Don’t worry about your mortgage payment. Just let us know when you are ready to resume paying.” Several years ago, the U.S. Senate was debating how the military was funding the medical care it provided to its forces. Sen. Ted Kennedy said, “If we go to war, how would you like to have your son or daughter operated on by an OB/GYN doctor?” and that is what I didn’t tell you earlier in the article: Dr. Malick graduated from medical school, spent five years in residency, was department chair at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been in private practice for 22 years, much of it here in Rockwall, and spent five years on active duty in the Navy — all in her specialty of OB/GYN! She also was the only female doctor in the hospital established in Bahrain! Dr. Malik is currently retired and living in Heath. In her words, she doesn’t regret a single aspect of her life as a doctor and a Naval officer and the experiences she has had — including her short stay in Bahrain! Jerry Hogan is a former county judge of Rockwall County. He volunteers to write these weekly articles and can be reached at Jerryhogan@sbcglobal.net or 214-394-4033.

Several friends of mine have asked if I would discuss some of the aspects of the military that would be of interest to readers. The next three or four articles will do just that.

Think back to the days of Desert Storm, early 1991. War with Saddam Hussein was imminent. The United States was in the process of amassing a large contingent of forces in the Middle East before the battle started. Many National Guard and Reserve units, as well as individual reservists, were called to active duty and dispatched overseas to be a part of this force.

Doctor (Navy Captain reservist) Jewell Malick had spent five years on active duty as a Navy doctor and was now in private practice in Kirksville, Missouri. She was skiing in Canada in December of 1990 when she got a call from her office. “You have a courier package from the Department of the Navy,” her office manager told her. Surprise of all surprises! It was orders calling for Dr. Malick to report in two weeks to the Naval Reserve Center in St. Louis, where she would be joining other individual reservists to form and deploy the Navy Fleet Hospital in support of the upcoming war in the Middle East.

Arriving in St Louis on Jan. 1, 1991, between 80 and 100 doctors, along with all the supporting personnel, totaling 900 Navy reservists, most of whom had never seen each other, were given their instructions. They would be transported to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for staging, then flown to the island of Bahrain off the coast of Saudi Arabia, where they would be met by Navy Seabees, who will prepare the area and assist in the establishment of the fleet hospital.

All the personnel left for Bahrain on Jan. 18, one month after Dr. Malik had been notified that she was being recalled to active duty. Method of transport: Hawaiian Airlines, to include the island music all the way to Bahrain.

Once they arrived, they found the hospital was not complete. But a local prison was made available for sleeping quarters and the administration area.

In two weeks, personnel erected the complete hospital, and it was ready to receive patients. But the war had not started and there were no patients! According to Dr. Malik, the highlight of each day was mail call. Unfortunately, the mail had not caught up with where all the personnel were, so many letters received were addressed to “Any Serviceman or Woman.” Personnel stood in line each day to receive and read these letters of encouragement!

Several days before the ground war started, the QE II cruise liner pulled into the harbor at Bahrain and all the hospital personnel were given two-day vacations to spend on the ship. According to Dr. Malick, one of her highlights of the experience was sitting in the ship theater hearing Lee Greenwood sing “Proud to be an American,” which was sung to all the assembled service men and women. “Looking around was one of the more patriotic things I had seen, and it made me proud to be an American and proud of the younger generation following along behind we older folks.”

Fortunately, the war was short lived, and the Naval Hospital was deactivated in April. All the personnel returned to the States. While in Bahrain, 16 total casualties were seen by hospital personnel. The most serious case was a septic gallbladder!

Returning to her home in Kirksville, Dr. Malick was concerned about mortgage payments and other expenses, as she had been gone from civilian work and income for about five months. Here is where she received the second most memorable thing of her deployment. The president of the local bank told her, “Don’t worry about your mortgage payment. Just let us know when you are ready to resume paying.”

Several years ago, the U.S. Senate was debating how the military was funding the medical care it provided to its forces. Sen. Ted Kennedy said, “If we go to war, how would you like to have your son or daughter operated on by an OB/GYN doctor?” and that is what I didn’t tell you earlier in the article: Dr. Malick graduated from medical school, spent five years in residency, was department chair at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been in private practice for 22 years, much of it here in Rockwall, and spent five years on active duty in the Navy — all in her specialty of OB/GYN! She also was the only female doctor in the hospital established in Bahrain!

Dr. Malik is currently retired and living in Heath. In her words, she doesn’t regret a single aspect of her life as a doctor and a Naval officer and the experiences she has had — including her short stay in Bahrain!

Jerry Hogan is a former county judge of Rockwall County. He volunteers to write these weekly articles and can be reached at Jerryhogan@sbcglobal.net or 214-394-4033.

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