For well over a decade, the Warrior Medics of Army Reserve Medical Command have been an integral and essential element of the Total Army and the Joint Force by meeting high operational demands, assisting with generating forces to support Army commitments worldwide and providing critical enabling capabilities that America’s military relies on to initiate and sustain complex global operations.
On Friday, Aug. 17, approximately 25 of these medical professionals were recognized during a Welcome Home Warrior Citizen Ceremony that honored Army Medical Department Professional Management Command Soldiers who mobilized or deployed in support of global contingency operations.
APMC Commander, Col. Todd Traver, emphasized the importance of the role each of the skilled professionals play in service to the Nation by providing niche capabilities such as a thoracic surgeon, nephrologist, diagnostic radiologist, or perioperative nurse, to name a few—all necessary for military operations to be successful.
“Thank you all for stepping forward. I certainly know you don’t do this for the money. You do it because this is an important purpose that we serve. Our Army simply cannot go to war without you,” Traver said.
Traver served as a rifleman in an Infantry Regiment for several years early in his career, and shared the peace of mind the military medical community provided during those assignments. “I knew that I had the best chance of survival because a world-class healthcare team was ready for me if needed,” he said.
During the ceremony, the narrator read aloud that heroes were remembered for an overwhelming display of courage during a significant event in time, and warriors were remembered for their many sacrifices and endurance demonstrated on the battlefield. Army Reserve Soldiers who participated in any operation are those heroes and warriors, and have truly earned their title ‘Warrior Citizen’.
Traver acknowledged others in the audience who also sacrificed in service to the Nation.
“Quite simply, we would not be able to do what we do without the support of our family members. I would say families sacrifice more than we do, because of all they are managing while we’re gone.
“You serve just like our Soldiers do, and you have a hard job keeping everything in check while we’re gone, which allows us to keep our mind on the mission which is providing the best medical care possible to those down range who need us,” said Traver, addressing family members in the audience.
For one Soldier, Maj. Olawaseun Cole, the support she received from her family and community made the difference.
“This ceremony was very special, but no more special than having my family here with me to be a part of it. It’s tough when you have to leave them, but it’s definitely a great feeling when you’re able to get back to them,” Cole said.
Cole, a U.S. Army Reserve Obstetrician Gynecologist assigned to APMC, was joined by her two young daughters, 8-year-old Abigail and 4-year-old Anna-Grace, who both shared their enthusiasm at having their mom back with them.
“It’s… awesome to have my mom back home,” Abigail shared through a big, toothy grin.
For the Welcome Home Warrior Citizen Ceremony, Cole was recognized for her recent six-month mobilization to Fort Drum, New York, in support of stateside operations. In 2013 she also deployed to Kuwait to support a 90-day mission, and is in her 12th year of service in the Army Reserve while balancing her civilian profession and being a mother of two with one more on the way.
“It’s wonderful to be able to serve, but it’s also great to be back home with my family,” said Cole.
In total, 22 personnel were honored with an American Flag in a wooden case that the Soldier’s name and rank engraved on a plaque, along with other mementos for their service and in recognition of the families who supported them.
Col. John Eddy, the Army Reserve Medical Command Chief of Staff, presented the flag to each Soldier on behalf of Maj. Gen. Mary Link, ARMEDCOM commanding general.
“Each of you has a demanding job or practice, and you set that aside and you willingly went and served your country.
”We come from a long tradition of service to our Nation by the means of what both the Constitution entails and conversely where the Army Reserve came from. Thank you for that tradition of service that all of you have been a part of, and thanks to the Families who stay back and support us while we serve,” Eddy said.