Maj. Walter Jackson: I'm Dr. Walter Jackson. I am a major in the Air Force Reserve. I decided to join the Air Force Reserve because I was looking for a way to apply my training as an emergency medicine physician in a different way than my day-to-day activities in the civilian sector. Benefits to me are a few: One is I have an opportunity to serve my country. Secondly, I have an opportunity for leadership and leadership training within my unit. Also, I have the camaraderie with the members in my unit, military benefits in addition to my civilian benefits for retirement. Also, I have an opportunity to work in a different environment than my every day-to-day civilian job. It's a change of pace and a change of work environment.
The Air Force Reserve provided me an opportunity to train as a flight surgeon, as well as to learn critical care medicine. The critical care physician is concerned with maintaining the health and well-being of critically injured patients from the war zone while they're being transported in the aircraft to the destination hospital. In the civilian sector, it's more likely that I would see pediatric patients and geriatric patients. Whereas in the Military, the patients I would see are going to be young, chances are they're going to have combat-related illness or injury. The training that I have received as a flight surgeon critical care physician in the Military affords me combat medicine training that I can apply directly to the care of real-world emergency situations in the civilian sector.