Transplant Surgeon Awarded Combat Action Badge for Recent Service in Afghanistan
Transplant surgeon Cal Matsumoto, MD, director of Small Bowel Transplantation, as well as the Center for Intestinal Care and Transplant at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute has received the US Army Combat Action Badge for his service while under attack in Afghanistan.
February 20, 2014
Doctor Operates on Soldiers with Wartime Trauma Injuries While under Constant Threat of Enemy Attacks
Washington, D.C. – February 20, 2014 – Transplant surgeon Cal Matsumoto, MD, director of Small Bowel Transplantation, as well as the Center for Intestinal Care and Transplant at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute has received the US Army Combat Action Badge for his service while under attack in Afghanistan.
The US Army created the Combat Action Badge in 2005 to provide special recognition to soldiers who personally engage, or are engaged by the enemy during combat operations.
"I was deployed from December 2012 until April 2013,” said Dr. Matsumoto, a Colonel in the US Army Reserves. “I was assigned to a Forward Surgical Team (FST) at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank in eastern Afghanistan, known to be one of the most violent and deadly bases in the country. At FOB Shank we were constantly under the threat of both direct (small arms) and indirect (artillery and rocket) fire. Among the many attacks, there was one particularly violent day on February 14, 2013 when a rocket barrage landed in our FST area. I also had a surprise one morning when an enemy AK-47 round from a nearby firefight ripped through my tent and landed next to me. Despite the constant threat, the FST routinely continued to perform medical and surgical duties to support the soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)."
In his civilian life, Dr. Matsumoto works as a transplant surgeon at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute where every day he saves the lives of adults and children in need of liver, small intestine or multi-organ transplants. "This is quite a contrast between life as a transplant surgeon at MedStar Georgetown in Washington, D.C and a surgical team dealing with wartime trauma injuries in eastern Afghanistan. I think my experience really exemplifies the true meaning of a “Reservist,” or “Warrior-Citizen,” as Reservists are commonly referred to, as those are such contrasting lives."
Dr. Matsumoto received his Combat Action Badge in a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. in December 2013.
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