By Eve Meinhardt, WAMCJuly 28, 2017
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Womack Army Medical Center, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 44th Medical Brigade and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command came together to celebrate 242 years of Army Medicine, July 27.
The day highlighted the role of military medicine across Fort Bragg from the line unit to the operating room by showcasing the capabilities and equipment, including ambulances and a MEDEVAC helicopter.
"This day really is about celebrating how far Army Medicine has come in the past 242 years," said 1st Lt. Justin Johns, who helped plan the event. "We're able to highlight what happens throughout Army Medicine from treating an injury on the battlefield to medical evacuation by helicopter to the care you receive in a medical treatment facility."
The morning kicked off with a celebration in which Col. John Lammie, director of Medical Education, WAMC, shared the history of Army Medicine from the handwritten directive that established it on July 27, 1775, to the lifesaving advancements we have today. He shared the stories of Dr. Joseph Lovell, the Army Surgeon General from 1818 until his death in 1836, who wrote the regulations of the medical department, and Maj. Walter Reed, the U.S. Army physician who helped determine that the deadly disease yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes.
Lammie also told the stories of names familiar to those who live and work on Fort Bragg, to include Medal of Honor recipients Spc. 5 Lawrence Joel and Pfc. Bryant Homer Womack. Joel was the first medic to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Vietnam War and Womack received the medal posthumously for his bravery during the battle near Sokso-ri during the Korean War.
"As we move forward, we're always looking back at our history and using those experiences to find ways to continuously improve," said Lammie. "There is passion and heart welded into this shield that represents Army Medicine. We stand on the shoulders of these giants and all of you are part of that story."
As Womack Army Medical Center continues to look forward to find ways to improve the quality of care for Fort Bragg's service members and their Families, the sentiment of the heroes that represent the responsibility that comes with our mission echoed throughout the day.
Lt. Col. John Carter, director of Business Operations, WAMC, led his department through the displays in lieu of their regular staff meeting. After telling the story of Womack's actions on the battlefield as he cared for others and ignored his own injuries, Carter reminded his staff of the legacy they carry.
"That's Pfc. Womack. That's who you represent," he said. "He literally gave his life caring for others. We are surrounded by examples of individuals who did more than they were expected to do for the love of those standing next to them. The technology and capabilities you see today are rooted in the foundation of those who came before us. We stand on their shoulders."