Winter 2018 Issue
By Saul Levin, MD, MPA, FRCP-E
CEO and Medical Director
American Psychiatric Association
As we honored our Veterans on November 11, I wanted to share with you our highlight video from our ceremony on November 1. The American Psychiatric Association held a wreath laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall in Washington, DC, in honor of the service and sacrifice of 200 psychiatrists who served during the Vietnam War. We were privileged to have Mrs. Livingston as our guest of honor. She is the widow of U.S. Army Capt. Peter B. Livingston, MD, who is the only known psychiatrist to have been killed during the war. His name is etched in Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall.
The ceremony was attended by 150 people, including 17 Vietnam Veterans, veterans from other conflicts, family members, active-duty U.S. Military personnel, APA Leadership and Assembly members. The genesis of the event was an action paper that came through the APA Assembly titled, “A Call to Recognize and Honor the Psychiatrists Who Served in Vietnam” co-authored by Adam T. Kaul, MD, a Representative of the Psychiatric Society of Virginia, and Norman Camp, MD, an APA member and retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps who served in Vietnam.
After our remarks, Dr. Altha Stewart, APA President, Dr. Bob Batterson, Speaker of the Assembly, Mrs. Livingston and I laid a ceremonial wreath under Capt. Livingston’s name at the Memorial Wall in recognition of his sacrifice. Thank you to the APA Foundation for sponsoring a reception at APA Headquarters where APA President-elect Bruce Schwartz, MD, and U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) delivered remarks to those in attendance.
Here is the link to the highlight video.
For those who have served in the U.S. military, thank you for your service.
Dr. Norman ‘Mike” Camp, a retired Army Colonel with over 20 years of active service, was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam. He was deployed in Vietnam from 1970-71 as psychiatrist and commanding ofﬁcer of the 98th Neuropsychiatric Medical Specialty Detachment (“KO”), one of the Army’s two definitive treatment units. For him, the ceremony also served as the natural extension of his multi-year, epic investigation into the individual and collective cost of Vietnam on soldiers, psychiatrists and psychiatry: U.S. Army Psychiatry in the Vietnam War: New Challenges in Extended Counterinsurgency Warfare [accessed for free from the Army Surgeon General/Borden Institute or available from the Government Printing Office bookstore.
The Action Paper concludes with the following proclamation:
Despite the enormous personal and professional challenges and risks these psychiatrists faced, the extant record amply demonstrates their sustained devotion to providing the best care for the troops that they could, their willingness to overcome hardship pursuant of that end, and their record of capable and commendable service. The arrival of the war’s 50th anniversary offers a unique opportunity to honor those who selflessly performed to the best of their ability what they believed was their duty to their country.
Link to the APA press release. Provided by Norman Camp MD, FACPsa, Colonel, Medical Corps, U.S. Army (Ret.)
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