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American flag flown in Afghanistan presented at OUWB convocation

Thursday, May 22, 2014
American flag flown in Afghanistan presented at OUWB convocation
Dean Robert Folberg accepts the United States flag that flew over the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Veterans Day 2013 from OUWB professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine, Edward A. Walton.
An Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine professor who recently returned from active duty in Afghanistan has gifted the school with an American flag for permanent display.

Edward A. Walton, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, presented the flag during this year’s OUWB convocation ceremony held at Meadow Brook Hall. He requested the flag for the medical school while serving as Lieutenant Commander in the Medical Corps, U.S. Navy (Reserve Component.) The flag flew over the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan on Veterans Day 2013.

During his deployment, Dr. Walton served as a Trauma Team Leader and now returns to his role as Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Beaumont Health System and to his post as professor at the medical school.  He will continue to serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Dr. Walton told the convocation audience that while only 1 percent of Americans serve in the Armed Forces, he felt a calling to enlist three years ago. His father, uncle and wife all served with distinction in the Navy.

“I was given many great opportunities because I am an American and wanted to try to use my skills to help those who protect us,” Walton said. “My experiences overseas will leave me forever grateful because I saw the sacrifices our service members and their families make for every American and our freedom.”

Medical school Founding Dean Robert Folberg, M.D., said of the gift, “Dr. Walton is giving to his patients, his students, his colleagues at the hospital and the medical school, and his country. We are honored to display this flag with pride at OUWB.”

Dr. Walton urged audience members to find ways to serve others. “I've always received more from serving my country than I have given to it. I encourage everyone to find a way to serve a cause greater than yourself, whether it is in the military, in your community or any other way that helps others.”

Six Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine students are currently in the military Health Professions Scholarship Program and will serve their country as medical officers following completion of their studies.

About OUWB:

The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine is a collaborative, diverse, inclusive, and technologically advanced learning community, dedicated to enabling students to become skillful, ethical, and compassionate physicians, inquisitive scientists who are invested in the scholarship of discovery, and dynamic and effective medical educators.