Friday, July 17, 2009

Club Med

Many years ago when I was teaching college in the Midwest, I wrote a letter of recommendation for a young ROTC Cadet who was attempting to get into medical school, on the Army's dime. He went to the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, graduated, and became an Army physician.

A number of years later, at another university in the Midwest, I wrote a letter of recommendation for a Cadet who was also trying to get into medical school, and to get the Army to pay for it. This other Cadet was active in eleventy-seven different extracurricular activities, and recieved what I like to call a "compassionate C" in my Cell Biology course. I knew Cadet 2 could do better, had there been sufficient time to devote to the material, something which was impossible given all those other commitments.

The letter I wrote for Cadet 2 basically described Cadet 1 and how similar the two were; thus, if Cadet 1 could succeed as an Army physician, so could Cadet 2. It worked, I guess (or at least didn't hurt!), as Cadet 2 was accepted into medical studies, and the Army paid for them.

Cadet 2 recently graduated from Residency and has begun (finally!) functioning as a physician. I'd been to Cadet 2's graduation ceremonies for college and medical school, so I was sad to miss the Commencement exercises for Residency.

As I'd surmised long ago, Cadet 2 has become a good physician. I'm proud to wear the same uniform.

Who knew, way back when, that before Cadet 2 would complete all the medical training that lay ahead, *I* would have a combat patch from a deployment to Iraq with the Army?


Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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