Stories about: Veteran’s Day

Boston Children’s veterans profile: Cathie Jones

Cathie Jones, MD

There wasn’t much about life in the military that surprised anesthesiologist Cathie Jones, MD. Because her uncle had also served in the Air Force, she had a primer on life at a military base. The medicine she practiced there wasn’t much different from the work she had done during her fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. And she learned quickly that it was best not to mention the mortar bombs regularly striking her base when Skyping with family. What she didn’t know was how to respond when her 3-year-old daughter, Lillian, asked her “do you kill people?”

While Cathie was stationed in Iraq for six months in 2009—and for months after she returned—Lillian returned to the same question. “She had a hard time as a kid separating out that mom’s a doctor and mom’s in the military,” Cathie says. She had good reason to be unprepared for that question; Lillian had not even turned three when Cathie deployed for Iraq. “People said ‘Oh, your daughter won’t remember anything’ but she does,” she says.

With her time in Iraq now well behind her, it’s strange to think Cathie was once actually happy to find out she was being deployed to Iraq.

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Helping kids cope with the stress of having a parent at war

stockphotopro_61221MDW_no_titleVeterans’ Day is a time to honor those who have served our country. For clinicians at Children’s Hospital Boston, it’s also a time to think about the children whose parents are away from home, serving their country. What does having a parent at war mean for a child? We talked to Children’s psychiatrist Stuart Goldman, MD, about how to help a child cope with this stressful time.

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