Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Doc Lovy gets his Bronze Star 36 years later

Not a nano story, but something much bigger. I wanted to make sure my father receives the recognition he deserves. I was 2 years old when he went to Vietnam, and cannot even imagine how different my life would have been had he not returned. Happy Hanukkah, Dad. I'm proud of you!

    It took Walter Price 36 years, but he made sure a battalion surgeon got the recognition — a Bronze Star — he deserved.

    It was 1968, and Walter Price, a lieutenant colonel, assumed command of the 3rd Battalion 506th Airborne Infantry 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. When he took command, he met Capt. Andrew Lovy, D.O., the battalion surgeon.

    Their paths intersected for only a short time, he said, since tours in Vietnam rotated quickly.

    But he admired the young man. First, Lovy took a lot of grief from other doctors. Lovy was a doctor of osteopathic medicine. He was one of the first D.O.s commissioned into the medical corps and to serve as a battalion surgeon.

    Price said before Lovy’s commission, most osteopathic physicians were commissioned into the medical service corps to be medics.

    But overcoming the scrutiny was just one impression. Lovy was more than willing to risk his life to save another’s life. Price said the doctor jumped on several helicopters to get to wounded on the battlefield.

    Such action was discouraged because physicians needed to stay at the aid station, he said; many times Lovy made the decision to go after getting a call from one of his medics already in the field.

    Lovy didn’t see it that way and went to the battlefield to begin treatment sooner, and hopefully save a life, Price said.

    Upon completing his tour in Vietnam, Lovy wrote a letter to Price thanking him for the honor to serve with the battalion.

    “Many of them (members of the battalion) are alive because of him,” Price said. More here

Related Story
Dec. 8, 1967 (Kirksville Daily Express)

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