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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Faith guides army doctor

When the main war with Iraq is over, Col. Tim Endy will begin his battle. The member of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Damascus, Md., is on call to go overseas to help develop the capabilities the military would need to treat victims if chemical weapons are used.

Endy, 46, is chief of the virology division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, outside Frederick, Md. His team works at Biosafety Level 4, wearing containment suits while studying viruses that produce hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola and Marburg. Most recently, the team is working with the SARS (severe acute respiratory symptom) virus.

Endy earned a master’s degree in epidemiology before attending medical school to train in internal medicine with a subspecialty in infectious disease. He went into the Army’s research and development command, focusing on developing vaccines and therapeutic drugs against diseases like malaria.

The colonel sees no conflict between his faith and his Army career. He spent most of January 2003 in Kuwait, helping organize and implement the smallpox vaccination program. “I attended a Sunday service,” he remembers, “and to pray in the desert beside other soldiers, with a pastor up there in full battle dress, didn’t seem out of place. We’re trying to do something morally right and get rid of evil.”

Whether caring for soldiers in a battlefield environment or working in a lab to develop better procedures to deal with infectious diseases, military physicians play an important role in the war and in homeland defense, Endy knows. He also knows he will continue letting his faith guide him as a physician, researcher, soldier, and, most importantly, husband and father of three children.


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