The Army Medical Service has many fine professional men who richly deserve the highest acclaim, not only for their great skill as medical scientists but also for their outstanding capabilities as commanders and planners in the never-ending battle against mortal ills and suffering.
Army medical men-perhaps more than any others in the field-have been forced to come to grips with harsh realities from the earliest moment of the history of the Army Medical Service. They have had to practice surgery in the mud and filth, as well as the haste and pressure of the battlefield, with their personal conscience and professional code demanding the same results from them in such an inhospitable environment as are expected from civilian colleagues in the sterilized surroundings of the operating room. They have been forced to practice medicine in areas where only the witch doctor had gone before, and to find cures for diseases which were spawned and spread in a culture of ignorance and fear. They were pioneers in the field of public health at a time when its advocates were looked upon as impractical meddlers. . . .
Extract from speech made by Secretary
of the Army Wilber M. Brucker, at the
dedication of the Walson Army Hospital,
Fort Dix, N.J., 15 March 1960.