60-Year-Old Muskogee Doctor Returns From Kuwait Deployment
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - A Muskogee doctor has proved it's never too late to serve your country. At 60-years-old, he deployed with Oklahoma's 45th Infantry for a year.
He just returned home and says he's retiring from the military after decades of service.
Dr. Gerald Martin says he's blessed to have been given a chance to serve his country again.
Martin's bosses at the Cardiology Clinic of Muskogee saved his job for him while he deployed to Kuwait for a year with the 45th Infantry.
His friends and colleagues held this reception to welcome him back home.
"The morale of his troops that he served with, the passion for his country, the fact that he was able to come back and take care of his patients again, who he had missed as much as they had missed him," Patrick Peer said.
Martin wanted to serve in direct combat and joined up as a field surgeon with the 180th Calvary of the 45th. He thought he was heading to Afghanistan, but got a change of orders just before deployment.
"Proud to have served in a combat zone with the fine, glorious whole organization made up of mainly of Oklahoma soldiers," Dr. Martin said.
That's a huge compliment, considering Martin's military career started in 1968. He has served in the Army, Army Reserves and Navy Reserves before ending his career with the Army National Guard.
"I don't think there's anything more honorable than wearing your country's uniform," Dr. Martin said.
Martin says having so many people support him is a true testament to the values of Oklahoma.
Dr. Martin worked for the clinic in Muskogee for four years before going to Kuwait. He's returned to his medical practice and wants to spend more time with his wife, two children and six grandbabies.