A Freeport doctor returns from service in Iraq; Dr. Gus Espinosa spent seven months at a combat support hospital at the Iraq-Kuwait border. Wednesday, he talked with 23 News reporter Erica Hurtt about his experiences and the current situation in Iraq.
FHN Memorial Hospital employees crowded around Dr. Gus Espinosa as he shared photographs and stories from his service in Iraq.
"If the commander in chief calls the troops, we must go. We are ready to go. It was an opportunity to serve the country," Dr. Espinosa says.
As a reserve member, Dr. Espinosa served seven months with the 801st Combat Support Hospital at the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border.
"The opportunity to interact with people and help the young soldiers. They are really the ones doing the job and we're just taking care of them," Dr. Espinosa says.
Espinosa says heat, not equipment was his biggest challenge, and despite ongoing battles in Iraq, Espinosa says soldier morale is high
"Our troops have very good morale, good spirits and they're doing extremely well."
Dr. Espinosa's deployment has a special meaning for coworkers like Kim McCray whose son is serving in Iraq with Freeport's 333rd.
"It made me feel like, at least they're sending good doctors over there," says Kim.
And while the doctor's return stirs up tough emotions for McCray, it's also a snapshot of hope
"Even though he's only been back since Monday, he's given me inspiration to know things are going to be okay."
But for now, McCray and FHN are glad to have their top radiologist back from Iraq. Dr. Espinosa treated soldiers and employees at the U.S. Embassy. The doctor's been a member of the U.S. Army Reserves for more than 20 years.