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A Navy Doctor's Tour on a Ship Called Comfort

Navy Doctor Edward Jewell's journal entries are featured in the book Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families.

Dr. Jewell worked on the hospital ship USNS Comfort at the start of the Iraq War. His first-person account of the high-stress job of a combat doctor explains the long hours and the realities of treating all wounded — friendly and enemy.

He returned from the war in April 2003 and returned to his normal duties at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Dr. Jewell retired from the Navy on Oct. 1, 2004, after a 23-year career. His assignment to the ship called Comfort was the only combat he saw during his entire Navy career.

He now works for the U.S. Army as a contract physican at the Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center, a medical facility at Ft. Meade, Md. Many of the soldiers at the facility have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan — some for multiple tours — so Dr. Jewell still feels very connected to the war.

This series is produced by Barrett Golding of HearingVoices.com.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.