Dr. John Caulfield thought it had to be a mistake when the Army asked him to return to active duty. After all, he's 70 years old and had already retired - twice. He left the Army in 1980 and private practice two years ago.
"My first reaction was disbelief," Caulfield said. "It never occurred to me that they would call a 70-year-old."
In fact, he was so sure it was an error that he ignored the postcards and telephone messages asking if he would be willing to volunteer for active duty to "backfill" somewhere on the East Coast, Europe or Hawaii. That would be OK, he thought. It would release active duty oral surgeons from those areas to go to combat zones in Iraq or Afghanistan.
But then the orders came for him to go to Afghanistan.
[. . .]
Careful, Gord, your old ass is on a list too somewhere. I'll meet ya in Baghdad, my friend.