Enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1966 was a clear decision for Christopher Sorrento. "It's simple. It's about service to your country," he says. An MGH carpenter for the past 29 years, Sorrento was stationed for 13 months in Vietnam's Mekong Delta as part of the "brown water navy" – so called because the division patrolled the dark canals and waterways of Vietnam. This Nov. 11 – the 90th anniversary of the signing of the armistice ending World War I Ð Sorrento was among the brave men and women honored by the MGH as the hospital paid tribute to employee veterans during a luncheon held in honor of Veterans Day. There are 247 MGH staff members who are veterans of the armed forces, and five employees who currently are on active duty.
The event opened with Jeff Davis, senior vice president for Human Resources, introducing Peter L. Slavin, MD, president of the MGH. "Not only do so many of you give selflessly on a daily basis caring for our patients, but you have made an incredible commitment to the nation and have protected and served millions of your fellow citizens," said Slavin. Gregg Meyer, MD, senior vice president for the Center for Quality and Safety and himself a veteran of the Air Force, then addressed his fellow veterans: "It is not surprising to me that so many of you have not only served in the armed forces, but also have spent your careers in health care here at the MGH. Both are about service to others and putting your own ambitions second." He closed his remarks by reading the poignant poem, "It Is the Soldier." Slavin and Meyer ended the program by presenting each individual with a pin commemorating his or her service.
HONORING VETERANS: Slavin, right, presents Sorrento with his pin.