In an enterprise founded on destruction and killing, military doctors have a uniquely constructive mission. They must mend their own comrades’ wounds and if possible, send them back to fight, even if it risks further injury. Doctors rarely carry a weapon and in most instances are exempt from being fired on. That doesn't always protect them from danger, and it surely does not exempt them from the stresses of war. A lucky soldier may never witness a casualty; casualties are what wartime military doctors deal with every day.

Featured Story: Glenn H. Wyler

"The patient didn't have the 'gas pains' which usually follow abdominal surgery. The rolling of the ship apparently took care of that."

Glenn H. Wyler was that rare soldier who served tours of duty in both major theaters of World War II, working as ship's physician on a troop transport vessel. His often colorful memoir, The Buzzard's Tale, changes only the names of the men and the ship. Raised in Utah, Wyler had no desire to go to sea, but the Army assigned him to the "Buzzard," which sailed the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific. He writes of taking on 700 Moroccan, Algerian, and Senegalese fighters and their 85 female camp followers in Africa; a barroom brawl in Marseilles; preventing theft of valuable medical supplies headed for the black market; and transporting German nationals out of China after the war.