In honor of Veterans Day Kaleida Health is sharing stories of health care workers who are also military veterans on their social media. Dozens of health care workers who are also members of the military shared their stories, like Steven Schwaitzberg.

Schwaitzberg is a retired army reservist and he’s now a surgeon with Kaleida Health and the chair of the University at Buffalo Department of Surgery.

He joined the military in 1987. Part of his time in the service was spent in combat and part of it was spent on humanitarian missions like road building. The lessons learned in the service helped him with the current battle against covid-19.

“This is a war and it’s just a different kind of war, a war against a virus. I got to see it from many levels,” he said. “Before there was a vaccine, we had to make thoughtful decisions about how are we going to take care of the patients. These people were in respiratory failure, some needed a tracheotomy, so the idea of standing over a patient with their trachea open blowing covid at you, when we didn’t know much about the virus and how we could protect ourselves, was a real concern.”

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