KINGSPORT — Friends and colleagues held a reception Sunday to honor Navy surgeon Capt. Cary Meyers, who will be leaving for a hospital in Germany next week to begin a one-year tour treating soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meyers is a heart surgeon who practices with Cardiovascular Associates (CVA) in Kingsport. He has also been a medical officer in the U.S. Navy off and on for 23 years.
Coincidentally, he rejoined the Navy Reserve only a month before the 9/11 attack following a few years in private practice.
The reception in his honor was held at the CVA lobby on Meadowview Lane Sunday afternoon.
This upcoming assignment will be Meyers’ first wartime deployment, and he admitted Sunday he’s not 100 percent sure what to expect.
Meyers will be stationed at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near Frankfurt, Germany, where wounded soldiers are evacuated for long-term treatment.
“I’ll be doing vascular and thoracic surgery, mostly for casualties coming in from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Meyers said. “There are also some dependents and retired there too, so I’ll probably be taking care of whoever comes to that hospital. It’s a big regional referral hospital for the armed forces in Europe.
“I haven’t got a lot of details about the patients I’ll be seeing exactly, but I know it’s for a year, I’ll be living on the hospital grounds, and that’s about all I know.”
Meyers’ most recent Navy assignment had been executive officer for Operation Health Support Unit, which took him to the Great Lakes Naval Base near Chicago once per month.
Treating wounded soldiers will be a big change for Meyers, but he said he believes he is prepared for the job. Many of his medical friends from the Navy are still on active duty and have been back and forth to Iraq, and they’ve prepared him for what to expect.
“A lot of blast injuries and shrapnel injuries, and unfortunately there’s a lot of regular motor vehicle collisions and basic trauma patients too,” Meyers said. “I guess I’ll see when I get there. It all depends on the tempo of the battle. If it heats up and there’s a lot more folks involved in fighting, there will be lot more casualties.
“If things calm down and they start pulling troops out, it might be slow. I just don’t know.”
Meyers leaves Saturday for two weeks of training in San Diego before leaving for Germany. His first day of duty in Germany is set for Oct. 15.