War & Veterans | Hektoen International

Negotiation

Jack Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, USA   Kuwaiti – U.S. military medical cooperation. Author is fourth individual from left in back row. “We appreciate what you Americans have done for us in the past. But we will not allow you to come into our hospital uniformed and armed.” It was their country, their hospital, and […]

“Mental Cases” by Wilfred Owen; the suffering of soldiers in World War I

Alice MacNeill Oxford, United Kingdom    Wilfred Owen Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight? Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows, Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish, Baring teeth that leer like skulls’ tongues wicked? Stroke on stroke of pain, — but what slow panic, Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets? […]

Thank you for your service

Jack Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, USA   US Military Hospital Kuwait at Camp Arifjan in the summer of 2005. As a reservist, I had heard those words on numerous occasions. I appreciated and understood that those words were not directed specifically towards me, but rather to the uniform that I was wearing. Although I had […]

Ought to kill or ought to heal? The importance of medicine in the history of warfare

Erick da Luz Scherf Santa Catarina, Brazil   A wounded American soldier receives a blood transfusion at an improvised hospital in New Guinea c. 1942-1945. Source: Daily Mail All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it. – […]

Blame

Jack Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia   US Army Blackhawk medical evacuation helicopter With so much intentional killing and death in war, one might think that an occasional accidental or natural death would go unnoticed and uninvestigated. This was not my experience. In war, killing and death are often viewed through a blameless lens. However, accidental […]

The Changi diary and paintings: the partnership of a doctor and an artist

Robert Craig Brisbane, Queensland, Australia   Malnutrition, Pellagra (left), Tropical Ulcersa, Avitaminosis (middle), Glossitis, and Solar Dermatosis (right) in Australian prisoners of war.  Three paintings and a diary in a handwritten exercise book are in the collection of the Marks Hirschfeld Medical Museum in Brisbane, Australia. They represent an episode of extraordinary courage, survival, cooperation, and […]

Japanese-American internment camps in World War Two

Gregory W. Rutecki Cleveland, Ohio, USA   Bill Mauldin’s cartoons regarding the NISEI 15   “What constitutes an American? Not color…race…An American…(is) one in whose heart is engraved the immortal second sentence of the Declaration of Independence.”1  “Any person who considers himself…a member of Western Society inherits the Western past from Athens and Jerusalem to Runneymede […]

Francis St. Vincent Morris: the pilot poet

Paul Dakin North London, UK   Francis St. Vincent Morris I discovered his original notebook and correspondence when sorting my late uncle’s effects. They were given to him by Morris’ sister Ruth. Francis St. Vincent Morris was a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps. Three weeks after arriving in France he crashed in a snowstorm and […]

The aftermath of trauma

Shaili Jain California, United States   The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government. This writing is a work of nonfiction. In an effort to protect individual patient privacy, the patient […]

The wartime chemist

William S. Tierney Cleveland, Ohio, United States   My great-grandfather was a four-star general. During the First World War, he was a commander in the trenches near Flanders when the first chlorine-gas impregnated shells fell from German skies, giving birth to a new era of wartime trauma. He was a chemist, trained at West Point […]