Graham Garrison
The Gift of Service

I said goodbye to a friend of mine this fall. He's an officer in the 101st Airborne Division headed for Iraq for at least a year, possibly more. His bags were already shipped when my wife and I arrived at Fort Campbell, Ky., to visit. He and his wife were busy making the final arrangements for his departure. We talked a little longer that weekend and made some memories with the hope of making more when he returns. The word "sacrifice" gets tossed around a lot, and many times by people who don't understand its meaning. My friend doesn't have that problem.

Nor do physicians. For this issue, we had the pleasure of interviewing two Georgia physicians who happen to have military backgrounds. John David Mullins, M.D., serves in the Georgia Air National Guard as its State Air Surgeon. When Hurricane Katrina hit, he and dozens of other Georgia physicians responded to a call for help in the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast region when most of the hospitals were down and medical personnel were sorely needed.

Scott Gillogly, M.D., now the team physician for both the Atlanta Falcons and Thrashers, graduated from West Point and served as an orthopaedic surgeon at an evacuee hospital during Operations Desert Shield and Storm in the early 1990s. He treated both American and Iraqi casualties during that time.

When I interviewed these physicians, they both preferred to talk more about the men and women around them during these experiences than their own exploits. It's a common trait in people who spend their lives serving. Physicians wake up every day with the goal in mind of making a difference. It often means long hours and hard work, sometimes at the expense of time with family and friends. But it also creates a kind of satisfaction unique to those who give back to their community. And although you don't hear it nearly enough from the people you care for, what you do truly makes a difference.

Thank you.

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