University of Wisconsin–Madison

Archive: Dr. Michael Garren: Honor Flight Doctor Carries Father’s Memory to Monument

When Michael J Garren, MD was growing up in Kenosha, he knew that his father, Dr. John T. Garren Jr., had served as an army surgeon in the Pacific theater of World War II.

“Like a lot of members of the Greatest Generation, he just didn’t talk about the war,” says his son, who followed in his father’s footsteps and is now Dr. Michael Garren, Clinical Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin.

So when Garren learned that the “Honor Flights” that bring veterans to Washington, D.C. to see their memorials needed medical staff, he was thrilled to volunteer. The Badger Honor Flights out of Madison are typically staffed with volunteers from the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, as they know many of these veterans on a personal and professional level.

“It was literally the best day of my life,” Garren says. “To see them in their memorial for the first time, to hear their stories, was an incredible honor, one that I will never forget.”

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