Surgeons work to remove shrapnel from a hospital corpsman’s knee at Fleet Hospital Three (FH-3) in southern Iraq during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF). FH-3 became part of Navy history as the first Expeditionary Medical Facility deployed to a war zone. During OIF, the staff took care of over 1,110 patients (coalition forces, displaced civilians and enemy prisoners of war) and performed over 620 surgical procedures.
This scene changed the direction of my art. While visiting Fleet Hospital Three, I asked the folks there if I could observe any operations they were performing in this austere location. Seeing what is beneath our skin and the damage that warfare brings to our bodies was shocking.