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    REMC Executive Director is No Moore

    REMC Executive Director is No Moore

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Lieberknecht | 170824-N-AO823-023 PENSACOLA, Fla. (Aug. 24, 2017)— Jeffrey Moore, right, is...... read more read more

    Each year, they still show up. These living heroes bring untold stories of valor and horror and faith and patriotic duty that many of today’s service members look at with awe. They are the repatriates of the Vietnam War, former Prisoners of War who visit the Robert E. Mitchell Center (REMC) on board Naval Air Station Pensacola annually for extensive two-day physicals.
    The man who hears these stories, who catalogs their existence both publicly and privately, saw his last patient this month. After 28 years with REMC, Executive Director Jeffrey Moore is retiring.
    “It feels somewhat unreal,” said Moore of his retirement. “Not just the goodbye, the entire journey.”
    That journey began in 1989 when he checked into Navy Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI) as an active duty clinical neuropsychologist. He was instructed not to get too comfortable because he was needed in Bethesda by 1991. That never materialized and he ended up extending his tour at NAMI “two or three times” for various reasons. He extended a final time under the condition that he retire as a commander so someone else could fill his billet.
    On Sept. 1, 1997, he retired from active duty and began work as contractor for REMC, the world’s only facility dedicated to the study of mental and physical effects of captivity on warfighters. He’s been with the center in some capacity ever since.
    Meander through the tiny facility and you can gaze upon the history of the POW experience and the pictures of old warriors, some still alive and visiting the center, some long dead. Moore has a story for almost all of them.
    “In 28 years, there have indeed been so many colorful, confidential and poignant stories,” he said.
    There was the time he watched several hundred repatriates stand and sing “God Bless America” with the Dallas Symphony at a reunion. Moore was once publically thanked during one repatriate’s retirement ceremony for “saving my life.”
    There was the time, at another reunion, where a retired admiral casually hollered to him in a buffet line: “Hey, Jeff. Could ya bring me a beer?” And there’s also the story of why his nameplate on the door to his office is curiously misspelled as ‘nueropsychologist.’ (You’ll have to ask him.)
    Moore has a knack for remembering all of these details about the patients who come through the Mitchell Center. For example, his first patient was a Vice Admiral, and when Moore started at the center, there were four Medal of Honor recipients.
    He’s remembered a lot, because a lot has happened. Of course, that means there will be so much to miss.
    “Although the staff and colleagues have always been great, it has truly been an honor and a privilege to take care of and get to know so many of our nation’s true heroes,” Moore said. “All of us in military medicine take care of heroes every day, but the repatriates are a very unique group of heroes who survived tortuous captivity and remained resilient.”
    Moore also said he hopes that the center will continue to care for this unique group, letting them know how much they mean to the nation and that they are not forgotten.
    The center is currently in the hands of Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC). Moore said its existence is undeniably finite due to the increasing age of its patient population, and hopefully due to ever-improving rescue and recovery procedures on the battlefield. The Mitchell Center’s command and staff remain resolute in carrying on the work of Moore and the many others who have served at REMC, even when the last repatriate bids farewell.
    It’s important to preserve that legacy. It’ll make a great story one day.



    Date Taken: 08.24.2017
    Date Posted: 08.28.2017 14:13
    Story ID: 246285
    Location: PENSACOLA, FL, US 

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