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Lt. Col. Anthony Beardmore, MD

Lt. Col. Dr. Anthony A. Beardmore spent six months of 2005 in Afghanistan as a member of a Forward Surgical Team. Also called an FST, this small, mobile surgical unit is designed to provide lifesaving treatment to soldiers and local civilians who wouldn’t survive transport to a combat support hospital. Operating in a mobile unit required creativity and resourcefulness. “When you’re deployed to an FST, you’re alone,” Beardmore says. “You don’t have anyone to consult. You’re the best care they’re going to get.” The team’s tools and techniques provided temporary, but lifesaving treatments. “You don’t have plates, screws or rods and your operating tent is filled with flies,” he says. While challenging, such environments breed innovation. Beardmore, who is now at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in Afghanistan.

2nd Forward Surgical Team

6.25 x 7.75 in.


Beardmore taught himself to draw in Afghanistan. He used a graphite pencil to recreate a photograph of him irrigating the hand wound of Afghan local, who had been injured in an explosion. Beardmore, the surgeon on the left, is assisted by another surgeon holding a basin, while a nurse looks on in the background.