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Downey deployed to Iraq as surgeon

Major Dr. Douglas Downey is shown during his time in the U.S. Air Force. CONTRIBUTED
Major Dr. Douglas Downey is shown during his time in the U.S. Air Force. CONTRIBUTED

Veteran of the Week

MADISON – Major Dr. Douglas Downey entered the U.S. Air Force during medical school in 1999 as part of the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).

He completed Officer Training School at Maxwell Gunter Air Force Base (AFB) in Montgomery and then was assigned to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Miss. for Residency Training after medical school.

“Hurricane Katrina destroyed our hospital. In November 2005, I was transferred to Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio to finish residency in General Surgery,” Downey said. “I was deployed to Kirkuk Regional Air Base in Iraq as a surgeon in an MFAST team.”

In 2011, Downey was transferred to Eglin AFB at Fort Walton Beach, Fla. and finished his military commitment in 2014.

“We moved to Madison to join Dr Matthew Hunt at Huntsville Hospital in employed practice, primarily based out of Madison Hospital” in general surgery, Downey said. “Also, I fell in love with the area while I was a medical student. We always planned to move back after the military commitment was up.”

Downey earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of South Alabama. He graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine in 2003.

Sara Downey formerly worked for Dynetics as an electrical engineer and finished her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University this past year. She now is taking a break to focus on their children. Her family lives in the vicinity and is active in their grandchildren’s lives.

The Downeys’ children are Amina, 15, a sophomore at Bob Jones High School; Amir, a sixth-grader at Discovery Middle School; and two-year-old Amara.

“We’ve have been looking for more ways to become active in the community and for a church that we feel as comfortable in as the one we left in Florida,” he said. “I’ve been trying to be active in the medical school.”

The Downeys attend charity events, such as fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and American Cancer Society.

A runner, he tries to stay physically fit. “Between work and three children, I don’t find much time for hobbies,” he said. Downey is involved with Madison County Medical Society.

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