For Carle Foundation Hospital trauma surgeon and University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery and Director of the Surgery Core Clerkship, Dr. John Kim, a single day a year to honor veterans doesn't seem like enough.
"It's really sad that there's only one day," he said.
Kim makes it a point to say thanks to every veteran he meets. And while those folks may not know it, the surgeon who's thanking them is a fellow veteran himself.
Before coming to Carle Foundation Hospital last year, Kim spent 11 years with the Army, including a nine-month deployment leading the 10th Combat Support Hospital's 2nd Forward Surgical Team in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
These days, Kim is one of nine trauma surgeons at Carle's level one trauma center, which receives this area's most serious emergencies.
While he's handled some heart-wrenching cases at Carle, he also recalls working in an area that was undergoing regular mortar fire.
"I feel much safer here," Kim said.