Even though it will be his first time in battle, Dr. Justin Gusching isn’t afraid. Upon receiving his orders last month, the Ohio Army National Guard Major was told to report for duty April 12th for a four-month deployment overseas. In his capacity as field surgeon, classification 62 Bravo, he will likely be stationed on the front lines in the fight against an all-too-familiar enemy: ISIS. “I’m good with it. I’m ready for it. I’ve done trauma. I’m actually kind of excited to get back,” he says.
It’s not surprising he is undaunted by the challenge of combat. Given the fact his grandfather earned the distinguished Purple Heart in World War II, courage clearly runs in the family. “My biggest concern is about my patients knowing that I’m coming back. I’m honestly not concerned about getting hurt.” Spoken like a man who is accustomed to stepping up to the plate and being of service.
Prohibited from discussing specifics for obvious national security reasons, Dr. Gusching recently returned from mission-specific tactical training at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. “My position as part of a special operations team will be as one of the primary doctors overseeing a lot of people within a group of about 3,000 - as a trauma surgeon in the field, stabilizing injured soldiers to transport by medevac and providing urgent care,” he says.
Whether he’s in the midst of a combat zone or a complicated cosmetic surgical procedure, one thing is obvious: Dr. Gusching’s dedication to his patients is always his primary focus. “I’ve been telling all of my patients about my deployment and when I will be back. I hope they can feel assured by that and know how much I want to continue to help them out,” says the triple board-certified surgeon who has already earned the trust and respect of many SSA patients during his 20 month tenure.
Expected to return from his first overseas tour of duty in early August, Dr. Gusching is most excited about the prospect of seeing how well many of his patients are progressing post-surgery. “If you think about it, by the time I get back, I will be able to see their results.” In the meantime, he looks forward to treating patients before his departure and scheduling time for both new and existing patients upon his return. The entire SSA family wishes him well on his mission and thoughts and prayers for a safe return.
Dr. Gusching with his parents