War & Veterans | Hektoen International


Jack E. Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia (Winter 2018)   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 […]

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

Robert Craig Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Fall 2017)   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, […]

Japanese-American internment camps in World War Two

Gregory W. Rutecki Cleveland, Ohio (Fall 2017)   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 […]

Francis St. Vincent Morris: the pilot poet

Paul Dakin North London, UK (Fall 2017)   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 […]

The aftermath of trauma

Shaili Jain Stanford University, Menlo Park, California, United States (Winter 2013)   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 […]

The wartime chemist

William S. Tierney Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Ohio, United States (Summer 2012)   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 […]

Letter from South Sudan: war through a mother’s eyes

Wangira Dorcas Osunga Kenya Television Network, Nairobi (Summer 2014) Our village Mading is at the heart of South Sudan. We are 120 miles away from Juba, the capital. We are at the East Bank, fed by the White Nile. The weather is tropical, with a rare wet season. Our land is not green, nor does it […]

Building a legend

Vladimir J. Simunovic Split University, Croati (Summer 2014)     During the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina the number of health care professionals declined precipitously. None of those who stayed were trained or mentally prepared to work under war conditions. Nobody had taught us skills that would be useful in war, and some of us found ourselves […]

Baron Dominique-Jean Larrey: founder of military surgery and trauma care,

Figure 1. Baron Dominique-Jean Larrey Stipple engraving by A. Tardie – Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons Stavros Gourgiotis Veterans’ Fund Hospital of Athens, Greece (Spring 2016)   Hippocrates stated that “war is the only proper school for surgeons.” War inevitably gives an impetus to surgical innovations and many advances in surgery have been made in […]

One by one

Sonia Sethi Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA (Spring 2016)   My mother was only five years old when my grandmother went off to war. She remembers waving goodbye, not comprehending the gravity of the situation until her mother embraced her and a teardrop fell silently on her forehead. My grandmother kissed her children, one by […]