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  1. #1
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    Thank You For Your Service

    This has to be one of the most heart wretching stories I have come across;

    In the months after his oldest son was killed in Iraq, Bill Krissoff decided to honor his son -- and help other Marines -- by enlisting in the military as a doctor.

    His medical credentials are impeccable and he's in good physical shape, but at 61, he was pushing the age limit. The paperwork bogged down.

    Then in late August, Krissoff and his wife, Christine, were among several relatives of service personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan invited to meet with President Bush after his speech to the American Legion convention in Reno.

    At the end of the hourlong meeting, Bush asked each family if there was anything he could do for them. Dr. Krissoff mentioned his desire to enlist.

    Karl Rove, then the president's top political advisor, took down the key information. Once back at the White House, he turned the matter over to Marine Gen. Peter Pace, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    A few days later, Krissoff was called by a medical recruiter from the Navy, which provides the medical personnel for Marine Corps. With a push from the top, Krissoff's enlistment application began to speed through the process of interviews and background checks.

    "Suddenly I got all the support I needed from the bureaucracy to get this done," said Lt. Cmdr. Ken Hopkins, a Navy nurse now on medical recruiting duty.

    On Nov. 17, Krissoff was commissioned a lieutenant commander in the Navy reserves, assigned to the medical corps. Rove sent flowers and a note of congratulations.

    Several weeks of training in military-style medicine lie ahead, but Krissoff believes he is on his way to honoring his late son, 1st Lt. Nathan Krissoff, by deploying to a field hospital in Iraq.

    He's closing up his orthopedic medicine practice in Truckee, Calif., and he and his wife are moving to San Diego to be close to the Marine Corps 4th Medical Battalion. They'll also be near their other son, Austin, 24, a Marine officer at Camp Pendleton.

    "I'm just a doctor who wants to help Marines -- I'm not trying to change the world," Krissoff said in a telephone interview. "I'm inspired by both my sons' dedication to service."

    Nathan Krissoff, 25, an intelligence officer with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, was killed last Dec. 9 by a roadside bomb while riding in a Humvee outside Fallouja. Hundreds of Marines, soldiers and sailors attended a memorial service in the auditorium at Camp Fallouja.

    Even by the mournful standards of such events, the memorial was emotional. Marines hugged one another, and many had tears in their eyes. Officers and enlisted eulogized Krissoff as a natural leader, charismatic but humble.

    Lt. Col. William Seely, the battalion commander, called the young officer a "modern-day knight" who felt a moral need to rid Iraq of "oppression, tyranny and extremism."

    Months later, Seely traveled the U.S. to visit the families of Marines in his battalion who had died in Iraq. Seely encouraged Krissoff in his enlistment idea and advised him on navigating the process.

    With a medical degree from the University of Colorado and advanced training at San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California, Davis, Krissoff has a flourishing practice specializing in "fracture work," mainly knee and shoulder problems. For the Navy, he hopes to be assigned to trauma medicine, which will require some refresher training.

    "Operating in a well-lighted surgical theater with air-conditioning is different than operating in a tent in a field,:" said Hopkins, who served in Iraq during the assault on Baghdad in 2003. Hopkins said Krissoff will be able to serve both as a doctor and, because of his decades of experience, as a mentor to younger doctors.

    "He had exactly the skill set we look for," he said.

    Krissoff concedes a kind of turnabout is at play. "Usually it's the father who tries to lead the sons by example," he said. "In this case, my sons led me."

    And what would his son Nathan think of his desire to enlist and deploy to a war zone?

    "He'd just say, 'Way to go, Pops,'" said Krissoff, his voice seeming to tremble slightly

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  2. #2
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    Re: Thank You For Your Service

    While technically, 60 is the highest age you can serve in the US military, we had a 67 year old warrant officer in our unit when we deployed to Iraq.

    I'm surprised how many lower enlisted guys I've met who are older, some even Viet Nam vets who reenlisted to go to Iraq or Afghanistan.


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    A Man Is What He Does When It Counts

  3. #3
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    Re: Thank You For Your Service

    Thanks for posting this story Alaskaguy, I disagree with the idea this should be catogorized as politics.



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    Re: Thank You For Your Service

    Quote Originally Posted by isugcs View Post
    Thanks for posting this story Alaskaguy, I disagree with the idea this should be catogorized as politics.
    Seconded. Perhaps a mod can move it to "Off Topic" for more people to read?



  5. #5
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    Re: Thank You For Your Service

    Quote Originally Posted by iceclone View Post
    Seconded. Perhaps a mod can move it to "Off Topic" for more people to read?
    I second that. Could we move this thread out of the cave?



  6. #6
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    Re: Thank You For Your Service

    Quote Originally Posted by isugcs View Post
    Thanks for posting this story Alaskaguy, I disagree with the idea this should be catogorized as politics.
    I agree with you and the others. It has been moved.



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