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Personnel Profiles
Col. Robert Lyons
Deputy Commander for Clinical Services


Life and Death in the War Zone homepage

I have been married for 30 years and have two grown sons. Like many senior people in the service, my home is where my family is, which happens to be San Antonio, Texas, at this time.

Here in Iraq, we have been changing over to the new replacement hospital, the 31st CSH out of El Paso. Today we changed out 250 personnel without any break in service to our patients. Our time here is rapidly coming to an end.

Since we were filmed, we have seen in excess of 15,000 patients and hopefully effected many lives positively. Our youngest patient was a two-month-old premature infant, and our oldest, I believe, was an 85-year-old Iraqi woman. Both survived. Many people have died here, but many were saved as well—both instances equally profound in their impact on all of us.

We have cared for hundreds of Iraqis, and they now comprise about one-third of our patient census from day to day. They are children, Enemy Prisoners of War, and civilians of all varieties. (We have taken care of people from 27 different countries.) Their care has been of the highest quality possible in this area.

We have also performed $250,000 worth of renovations and improvements in the Balad General Hospital. It's now able to hospitalize 150 patients, up from about 100, because we provided air conditioners and heaters in each patient area. We supplied operating-room equipment for the orthopedic surgeon, washers/dryers for the nursery, and an endoscope for the gastroenterologist. We have also given the physicians computers so they can continue their education and communicate via the Internet. Our most important contribution to the hospital was eight incubators and four infant warmer-resuscitators. The infant mortality is sure to decrease because of these improvements.

The high point is the privilege of taking care of my fellow soldiers and working with some of the most talented physicians and nurses our country has to offer. Sharing their hardships and witnessing their successes with patients every day has been a pleasure. The low point is seeing our dead respectfully sent back home to their families.

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Col. Robert Lyons

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