Dr. Ungar's Military Service
My service in the Indiana Guard Reserve began when Col. Mark Griffiths, the Commander of the 19th Medical Regiment approached me as a physician colleague in 2014.
I received my commission as rank of Captain, having had no prior service.
At the military board, I was asked by the generals as to why I wished to serve. I replied that as a son of a survivor from Nazi tyranny I felt obligated to repay a debt to the country which had given me so much in terms of my career and a home.
My father watched Hitler march into Vienna and had escaped on the kindertransport but was treated as an enemy alien in his new home in England. He was sent to Australia and interned behind barbed wire for over 2 years.
He never felt fully at home back in the UK until at age of 80 when he moved from London to Jerusalem.
Since I arrived in the US first as a medical school student (1972) on a scholarship (to Duke University Medical Center) later (1974) as a physician I have felt a debt that had not as yet been fully paid.
Although I do take care of the indigent, I felt I needed to repay the debt of gratitude to this country fully by enlisting.
Since then I have been promoted to the rank of MAJOR and have taken an active role in the command staff of MEDCOM overseeing its transformation into the 19th Medical Regiment.
I have taken FEMA courses as well as CERT and IHMAT in preparation of the Mobile Filed Hospital (of which I am commander of Physician Company) for mass casualty and triage.
I have recruited over 40 soldiers to our ranks, physicians, dentists, medical specialists, Nurse Practitioners, support command, and veterinarians.
My vision for the regiment remains readiness when called upon by our governor to deploy in the event of natural disaster or terrorist attack causing mass casualty. All the planning and drills are focused on these eventualities and our training includes exercises with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security as well as the Indiana State Department of Health.
My other plans for the regiment include serving the homeless veteran population in Indiana and providing free clinics using our talent in various specialties in medicine and surgery as a team.
My goal is a cadre of some 100 medical soldiers who will be able to provide the state of Indiana with excellence in emergency management and triage using our mobile field hospital.
Dr. Ungar, December 2017