Military Matters: Medic Pursues His American Dream
Specialist Eric Gavour says he's basically repeating medical school.
The combat medic was a doctor in his native Ghana. When he came to America in 2008 and met his wife, he gave all that up.
His foreign medical degree isn't recognized here.
He's been working to get the ability to practice medicine in the U.S. ever since.
He joined the Army as a path to that goal.
"I became an American citizen on my day of graduation of basic training," Gavour said. "That was awesome."
Specialist Gavour studies eight to 10 hours a day to prepare for the board certification exams he needs to pass to get his medical license in his new home.
That's on top of his duties as an Army medic.
"It's hectic, but it's doable," he said. "That is my approach to life . . . push, push, push and then you get it."
With two of those tests under his belt, Gavour is closing in on the finish line. His third and final exam will be on May 2.
And thanks to support from the Army - and his battalion commander, especially - Gavour will be ready.
"We have given him dedicated time where he has half days of working, so he can focus on his studies," said Lt. Col. Dan MOrgan, "because not only is it going to better him, it's going to better the Army and better the soldiers around him."
Gavour's attitude is what his commander says makes this soldier so exceptional.
"My American dream now is to pass those tests, become a medical doctor, and then help take care of all those soldiers who put their life on the line every day to protect the freedom of this country," Gavour said.
And that, he says, is something worth fighting for.
If you have a story you think we should be covering for Military Matters, e-mail Katie Alexander at email@example.com.
While you're here, check out our Military Matters Calendar of Upcoming Events.
Friday, May 24, 2013, Watertown, NY