By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
2 SEPTEMBER 2014
Lt. Col. (Dr.) Robert L. Mabry, Director, Trauma Care Delivery of the Joint Trauma System at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research will be featured at this year’s Los Angeles County Fair. A poster with Mabry’s photos and a short description of his contributions to emergency medicine will be on display at an educational exhibition called the Hall of Heroes “Real Life Heroes.”
Michael Converse, the exhibition hall coordinator said that he was looking for a civilian emergency medical service to feature alongside other real life heroes.
“I contacted the American College of Emergency Physicians,” said Converse. “A Rick Murray [ACEP Director EMS/Disaster Preparedness] told me about Dr. Mabry whose story is so remarkable that he became an obvious choice.”
Mabry’s astonishing military career began in 1984 when he enlisted in the Army as an infantryman and then become a Special Forces combat medic. He was among the Army Rangers who deployed during the 1993 battle in Mogadishu, Somalia that was depicted in the movie “Black Hawk Down.” During his last five years as an enlisted Soldier, where he earned the rank of Sgt. 1st Class, he attended college in the evenings and weekends to earn the prerequisites for medical school.
In 1995 he attended the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., and returned to San Antonio to do his residency at Brooke Army Medical Center. Mabry deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 and 2010 as a battalion surgeon with the Special Forces. With his hands-on combat deployment experience he designed a fellowship program at the San Antonio Military Medical Center that is designed to improve the survival chances of combat wounded.
Mabry’s poster will be among more than 20 others highlighting 40 real life heroes to include: Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger who successfully landed a disabled airbus in the Hudson River in 2009; 104-year-old World War II veteran Bea Cohen who has spent more than 70 years supporting the Armed Forces and giving back to United States; and the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hot Shot Crew who were killed while battling a blaze outside Prescott, Ariz. in 2013.
When asked about his thoughts on his poster at the LA County Fair, Mabry modestly said, “it’s pretty neat.”