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Book Review: American Doctor Coming Home to War

By Capt. Brent Ramsey, USN ret

American Doctor Coming Home to War, by John Hughes, MD (available in paperback and Kindle)

This book is an inspirational and at the same time troubling account of an American warrior and healer at war in Iraq and Afghanistan who returns from multiple tours in combat to find war of a different and even more troubling nature at home.

Dr. John Hughes’ personal history and family heritage is awe inspiring, fascinating, exciting, and humbling to behold. His story is also most troubling for any who value freedom and the traditional values that made this country great.

Number one in his class at West Point, an Infantryman, a Ranger, and combat zone veteran, Hughes then goes to medical school and becomes a doctor and then goes straight back into combat as an ER doc and Flight surgeon.

Dr. Hughes pulls no punches in describing the horrors of war for everyone in the combat zone and in graphic detail the even worse horrors of a combat ER doc dealing with the horrendous injuries inflicted on our military personnel and the civilian populace including children by the criminal atrocities of the aggressors in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

His is an account of tremendous motivation and desire to serve, mind-numbing challenge and danger in every conceivable situation, and an iron will to persevere and overcome to save as many lives as possible.

As if it is not enough, to be in combat with harrowing dangers day in and day out, month after month, with growing experience and perception being refined over time, Hughes comes to the realization that he is caught up in a losing proposition concerning the overall objectives of our nation.

On the one hand he is rewarded and gratified to be saving lives on an almost daily basis and improving and refining procedures with innovative techniques and sure dint of effort and at his own expense at times.

But on the other hand Hughes, with time, experiences the dawning of understanding and reaches the conclusion that US strategy in both Iraq and Afghanistan is failing, and the denial of that failure will be a stain on the nation that will last for all time.

Despite his best efforts there is not a thing he can do about it. His warnings and inputs to those more senior to him in the chain of command fall on deaf ears.

Once inspired to his very core by the history, culture, and ethos of West Point over generations including multiple generations of his own family, Hughes gradually recognizes that senior leadership has blinders on and an institution that once produced great military leaders now mostly produces politically motivated yes men who let their personal ambitions keep them from telling politicians the truth about failing policy.

Despite his inspiring family heritage with the Army and his unusual motivation to serve, his once bright spirit is damaged over time by the realization that nothing he says or does can make any real difference to our failing policy overseas.

After 23 years in uniform, Hughes resigns his commission as a Lieutenant Colonel without benefits or any reward for his extraordinary sacrifices of his family life and even more extraordinary benefits to his fellow soldiers.

Dr. Hughes enters private practice as an ER doctor and for a number of years practices medicine and raises his family trying to enjoy the life he has earned.

There are many challenges due to having a severely handicapped child and adopting two other children from the local area with severe developmental problems, so for some years he focuses solely on his family and solidifying his private medical career.

Having settled in San Antonio, he has become an avid Spurs fan.  Then comes the shocking events of Chinese aggression towards Hong Kong and his political senses are put onto alert.

It is with disbelief he watches as the National Basketball Association and some of its most prominent players including filthy rich Lebron James, degrade themselves in front of the entire nation by cozying up to the Communist regime in Beijing for the love of money.

Their greed and love of money indicates that the NBA is just fine with abandoning the free people of Hong Kong to a hostile takeover.  Dr. Hughes’ disgust is so great he cancels his season tickets and abandons following the sport he loves.

With his radar now fully activated to be more focused on political matters, he researches the happenings at his alma mater, West Point and also looks more closely at what is going on with the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and he does not like what he sees.

What he sees is politics invading the military and the medical establishments in destructive ways and he becomes an activist for traditional constitutional and Hippocratic oath values.

The past three years has been one of constructive but insistent criticism of West Point, AMA and ACEP.  He points out bluntly that they are becoming increasingly political through the promotion of Critical Race Theory and other far left ideologies.

Dr. Hughes’s book is filled with inspiring things and troubling things.  He is an inspiration in the way he has lived his life and sacrificed so much for his country.

And, it is a cautionary tale about our freedoms of expression being eroded away by political influences that have become entrenched into the military and the medical establishments.

It is time to wake up America and take heed of what this highly decorated and inspirational life saving Doctor has to say about the state of military senior leadership and the erosion of medical freedoms in our nation.

CAPT Brent Ramsey spent 38+ years in combined military and civilian service to the Navy.  He is a former military advisor to Congressman Mark Meadows and currently advises Congressman Chuck Edwards on defense matters.  He is a writer whose work has been published by the Washington Examiner, American Thinker, Real Clear Defense, Association of the United States Navy, Patriot Post, Armed Forces Press, Instapundit, Ace of Spades, National Defense, USNA-At-Large, STARRS, and Calvert Group.

From John Hughes:

After Vietnam, America and its military said, “Never Again!” Tragically, Afghanistan ended in similar failure despite years of obvious indications that it was unwinnable. I have been treating casualties on the front lines of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and of COVID-19 in America. A

fter graduating first in my class at West Point, I deployed to Haiti as an Army Infantry officer and then to Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army Emergency Physician. My writings expose the disconnect between the falsehoods and political correctness of failed general officers and the ground truth of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The human toll never lies.

​Eventually, I came home to practice medicine as a civilian and it became very apparent that a cultural civil war was emerging. The COVID-19 pandemic ended centuries of freedom of speech and rational scientific thought and saw the dangerous rise of politically weaponized medicine.

I trace the COVID-19 timeline and challenge the official COVID-19 and DEI narratives of health leaders in the government and medical organizations. Dialogues and meetings I had with leaders of several major medical organizations also expose how progressive ideologies are ruining science, medicine, public trust, and the nation’s health.

Envisioned years ago, this book was never originally intended to have been written in this manner. I had thought about writing a semi-classic war novel about my combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan and perhaps another book about the pandemic from the view of an ER doctor in the trenches. Circumstances made it clear that was not to be.

Just as I did at the end of my military career, I began a process of trying to make sense of what I was seeing versus what I was being told I was seeing. It was incomprehensible to me that all these disparate issues were popping up in the military and medicine and they did not seem to be random.

As I was coming up for air from my military years, I began to notice some political bantering in sports, my child’s school, and even medicine. What had previously been a few extremists whose influence was kept in check seemed to be becoming increasingly pervasive. The deeper I looked, the more I found. The more I found, the more my eyes were opened to the unfortunate trend our country was taking.

Extreme political views were becoming accepted as the new culture and were now present in fields that should not have been influenced by politics.

Contemporary medical leaders are imposing their ideology on both physicians and patients using the paradigm CREATE-INDOCTRINATE-ENFORCE. Military leaders are doing the same in our armed forces.

Using troublesome war stories and graphic combat photographs from the battlefield and the emergency room, I present this as a documentary and analysis of the state of the military and medicine as seen at my level.

My objective is to help train your eyes to identify how and what is happening, then to inspire you to do something about it. These military and medical disasters should never be repeated.

America is being destroyed by a cultural civil war. I have come home TO war.

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