24th Veteran of the Quarter, Dr. Todd Baker, US Army

September 10, 2016

Dr. Todd Baker served in the 86th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad from October 2007 to January 2009. He was chief of what is commonly known as “Baghdad ER.” During his 15 months, he saw everything from battle injuries to heart attacks. His patients ranged from US soldiers and private contractors to even Iraqi military and civilians injured in battle. Baker said “Well over 50 percent of trauma seen in Iraq came through us.”

When Baker and his fellow soldiers arrived in Baghdad they had only days before they would take over the duties of the emergency department and got only a glimpse of how their predecessors worked. “The very first patient we saw when we got there was a 19 year old female soldier who had both of her arms blown off.” Baker said, “They worked through that trauma in 15 minutes. From the beginning, the injuries and the injury patterns were far and beyond what I’d ever seen.”

During his time in Baghdad, Baker and his team of three emergency physicians, nine nurses and 16 medics treated thousands of critically wounded people. “According to our commanders, our hospital took more direct hits from rocket and mortar fire than any combat support hospital since the Vietnam War.” Baker wrote on his website, “Despite wave after wave of attack, our team never faltered and stood ready to care for our wounded at any time.”

Every day, Baker would journal his experiences and before he ever left for the states, he knew he would write a book. “I want to tell the story of the wounded,” he said. “Our soldiers don’t die and get left behind. I learned that eh first week. I want to tell the families of those soldiers that died how hard their battle buddies worked to get them home alive and I want to tell them how hard we worked. It has nothing to do with me. It is the system we fell in to.”

Dr. Baker has written his book “Baghdad ER Fifteen Minutes” which can be purchased on his website Baghdader.com. 10 percent of the proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project. This book is a must read if you enjoy books about true, American Heroes and history. Baker said, “His biggest fear throughout this has been a widow, mother, child would read this and it would reopen old wounds. It has helped bring healing. That is as good a feeling as I could ask for,” Baker said.

After almost eight years on active duty, Dr. Baker separated from the US Army at the rank of Major and now serves as co-medical director of the Emergency Department at Cox Medical Center in Branson. He earned the Bronze Star Medal and Combat Action Badge for his service.

He resides in the Branson area with his wife, Laura, and two children, Avery and Harrison. To nominate a local Veteran for the Branson Bank Veteran of the Quarter, please visit our website: www.bransonbank.com or stop by any of our Branson Bank locations to pick up a Nomination Form. Veterans are chosen by a panel of their peers.


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