Health Plus: Local doctor takes leave to join Army - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Local doctor takes leave to join Army

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One eastern Iowa doctor has decided to serve his country.

At 58-years-old the Covenant Medical Center physician is enlisting in the United States Army.

His story in Health Plus:

At 58-years-old Doctor Joe Nora's life is truly coming full circle.

The Covenant Medical Center physician in Waterloo is enlisting in the United States Army for duty at Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he trained in medical school.

"Fast forward 28 years later we've been at war for 10 years. There's a lot of wounded sailors, soldiers, airmen and the government has a program for older physicians," said Dr. Nora.

A co-worker at Covenant's inpatient rehabilitation unit has become his military mentor and ignited his call to serve.

Tina Douglas has been an Army nurse for over 20 years.

"He showed an interest to me that he wanted to join the Army and I knew he was serious 'cause Dr. Nora usually doesn't play and I thought, great, any help that I could give him I was glad to help him," said Douglas.

An Army health care recruiter from Des Moines has helped Nora wade through the process to make it happen.

Derrick duff/captain, des Moines med. Recruiting team "I just got back from Afghanistan right before I got into this job, so you know soldiers that I was in a unit with are in various army hospitals across the United States. And reading Dr. Nora's background I knew he'd be perfect to work in a rehab facility in the Army," said Derrick Duff, a captain with the Des Moines Medical Recruiting Team.  

His mission?

To care for amputees in rehab at Walter Reed in Washington, D.C. much like Taylor Morris, the wounded Cedar Falls soldier who is there now.

"I visited Walter Reed the other week and we happened to walk in on him just as he was up on the parallel bars for the first time and he's a tough young man," said Dr. Nora. 

Nora will soon head to San Antonio for ten weeks of basic training before he reports to Walter Reed.

His job at Covenant will be waiting for him once he completes his service.

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