RIP Thomas “Doc” “Tommy” Eagles, HMCM (ret) – Personal Reflection

The last time I had an opportunity to spend any significant amount of time with Tom was at a dinner with him and one other colleague at the Globe & Laurel several years ago.  At that time he was having difficulty getting around but was not yet using the wheelchair...Agent Orange was taking its toll even then.

Tommy died 03 June 2016, no doubt as a result of the damage wrought by Agent Orange.  Tommy started his young adulthood has a Monk and after the outbreak of the Vietnam conflict, enlisted in the Navy and became a Corpsman...when he retired from the USN he was Master Chief Corpsman (E-9) and while the article appearing locally when he was recognized at the Pensacola Naval Hospital at the Heroes Among Us program in 2014 states he did three tours in Vietnam, I recall him mentioning that he did six or seven tours.  It's possible that some of those tours were not necessarily to Vietnam as Tom was a Corpsman for Marine Recon units and spoke Vietnamese fluently and I do know that his talents were used elsewhere in Southeast Asia outside Vietnam.

I also know that he was there when the US pulled all our people out of Saigon.  My friendship with Tom developed both due to my affiliation with the Special Operations Medical Association and the business development work I did for several years with Pyng Medical on the FAST1 intraosseous device.  After his retirement from the Navy, Tom was at MARCORSYSCOM at Quantico and subsequent to that position worked with North American Rescue Products.  Throughout his entire career, he was all about just one thing...doing whatever it took to keep Marines alive...first as a Corpsman and later on being sure that the best products were in the hands of the Corspmen that followed in his footsteps keeping Marines alive on the battlefield.  Tom admitted that like any of us who have tried in vain to save lives, military or civilian, you remember the ones you lost.

A legend of military medicine has passed...keep Tom and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Doc Clinchy - 05 June 2016

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