Members of the MGH community joined together Nov. 13 to give thanks and to honor and remember current and former service members at the annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation. 

Andy Gottlieb, FNP-BC, director of the MGH Department of Occupational Health and lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves – who is serving a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan as a hospital commander – surprised those in attendance by joining the breakfast via Skype.

“The most important part of the morning is to remember those who we are honoring,” said Gottlieb. “That’s the veterans in the room and those who couldn’t make it there for their patriotism, their love of our country and their willingness to serve.”

The breakfast also featured the presentation of the annual Steve Temple Scholarship from the MGH Military Veteran Partners (MVP) group. Temple – a Vietnam Veteran who recently retired from the MGH after working for 28 years as a carpenter in Buildings and Grounds – was instrumental in creating the MVP. The award was established in 2016 and is given to a veteran, a veteran connected employee, an active service member or a family member who is pursuing further education and/or career advancement in the trades.

This year’s award went to two recipients, Bill Davidson, director of Veteran Outreach at Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and MGH Program, and his daughter, Morgan, an Essex Tech High School student majoring in natural resource management. Davidson currently is serving in the Massachusetts Army National Guard as senior enlisted advisor. Morgan has a 4.3 GPA, is ranked 13th out of 300 in her class and volunteers in many capacities at her school.

“Thank you to the MGH,” Morgan said. “This is my first scholarship and I am very humbled. Happy Veterans Day!”

Gottlieb, who was mobilized on April 27, is working as the commander of a Role 2 hospital for trauma and resuscitation care. His hospital has operating rooms and an emergency department, and he has not had a day off since June.

“People who are putting themselves in harm’s way are doing so with confidence, knowing we’re here standing by to do whatever they need should they become injured or require our services,” said Gottlieb. “Thank you to everyone for their support and for keeping us in their thoughts. For the most part, the forces have been here 16 years, and the fight does continue. But the support we get from home is palpable. Go Army, beat Navy.” 

Read more articles from the 11/17/17 Hotline issue.