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John P Pryor


U.S. Army


MOSUL, IRAQ 12/25/2008

People fail to realize that the death toll in the wars in the Middle East is lower compared to previous wars because individuals like Dr. John Pryor were and are trained to save the lives of those injured in battle. Pryor was killed in Iraq Christmas day 2008 serving with a frontline surgical unit during his second tour of duty. Pryor wrote eloquently about painful battlefield deaths.

Pryor headed the trauma program at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. This incident sheds light on Dr. Pryor’s incredible devotion: a technically skilled surgeon with a fierce adventurous streak, Dr. Pryor dashed to the heart of Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001, to volunteer his services. He deciphered and filled medical requests that crackled over rescue-team radios.

And Dr. Pryor explained “In Iraq, ironically, I found myself drawing on my experience as a civilian trauma surgeon each time ‘mascals,’ or ‘mass casualty situations,’ would overrun the combat hospital. As nine or 10 patients from a firefight rolled in, I sometimes caught myself saying, ‘Just like another Friday night in West Philadelphia.'”

“JP” was a magical man, with boundless energy and goodness. He as was a devoted son, husband, father, colleague and friend. He was an outstanding physician, gifted surgeon, teacher and mentor. At his core were many great values but his passion for service to others and gave back something to each and everyone of us, everyday.

Excerpt from University of Pennsylvania Hospital web site

Thank you for your service to your country and to mankind Dr. Pryor. Dr. Pryor affected a great many people and touched lives everywhere. His essence is captured in his favorite quote:

“…. Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Every man has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for those who need help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. For remember, you don’t lie in a world all your own. Your brothers are here, too.” Albert Schweitzer


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