For this dentist, humanitarian work in the Philippines is not what he would consider pulling teeth – it’s a blessing.
Patrick Rooney (’71) spent a month this summer aboard the USNS Mercy, a part of Pacific Partnership 2016. With his experience as a Navy hospital
corpsman during the Vietnam era, Rooney jumped at the chance to serve when the American Dental Association put out the call for volunteers.
As one of only five dentists selected, Rooney served in a contingent of sailors, Marines and civilians whose goal was to provide medical care to impoverished west Pacific countries and also educate local doctors on health care practices. Rooney commented, “Sometimes the military can project a certain intimidating air, but this is a way to show that there’s a humanitarian side.”
After returning home, Rooney shared that “it was a profound experience to see the good our country does and the positive image we present around the
world on a regular basis.”
Read about another veteran – Fr. John McBride, S.J., ’49 – who was honored for his service in the Korean War. Story here.