By Julie Calohan (Madigan Healthcare System)April 13, 2010
MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Wash. -- When Maj. (Dr.) James Pates wasn\'t seeing patients during sick call at a forward operating base in Mosul, Iraq, he was connecting with his 10 children through video chat back home in Steilacoom, Wash. "We would try to talk twice a day so we could rotate all of the kids in," Pates said with a smile. Serving about 100 patients a week, Pates said his six-month deployment was a busy one, but he was sure his wife, Katherine, was much busier. "Our children are home-schooled, so organization was a little easier, but we still planned for help from Family members at least once a month," Pates said. The hard work and dedication of Pates and 14 other Soldiers were recognized March 31 at a Warrior Recognition Ceremony at Madigan Army Medical Center. Ceremonies are held quarterly to honor Madigan Soldiers who are deployed individually or in small groups through the Army Medical Department's Professional Filler System. "PROFIS Soldiers don't get the big celebration when they come home," said Madigan's Commander, Col. Jerry Penner III. "It's a challenge because our medical Soldiers come home from several different locations at different times." PROFIS Soldiers deploy to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and other locations, or are sent to fill in for deployed Soldiers at other military treatment facilities in the Army Medical Department. Madigan recently constructed a Deployed Warrior Wall which displays pictures of each of Madigan's deployed Soldiers. Speaking to the Soldiers who were honored at the ceremony, Penner thanked them for their service. and hard work while deployed. "The wall represents that you were never out of sight or out of mind," Penner said. "You've followed through with your promise to stand and defend the United States. We are certainly glad to have you back," he added.