NEW JERSEY (WTXF) - New Jersey's Cooper University Hospital salutes their military employees. On Tuesday, they honored one doctor with the first ever 'Military Employee of the Year Award'.
"The Military Employee of the Year goes to Dr. John Chovanes!" A surprise high honor for a man who saves lives while protecting our freedoms.
"I feel humbled and I feel a little bit embarrassed because it could go to everyone here."
Cooper University Hospital trauma doctor and Army Lt. Colonel surgeon John Chovanes has four tours of duty under his belt and this Sunday he will add his 5th deployment with yet another round of service in the Middle East.
"You prepare by being the best you can be in the civilian world--at least for me--I'm fortunate. I'm a trauma surgeon here and in the Army, so you do your best here in Camden, New Jersey, and you do your best in the Middle East or anywhere you're taking care of someone," Dr. Chovanes said.
Dr. Chovanes took home Cooper's first ever 'Military Employee of the Year Award' as someone who knows the harrowing lifesaving battles in a big city hospital surrounded by gun violence and in an overseas war zone.
"Whether you're calling across international time zones and speaking to that young soldier's wife or you're speaking here in our trauma bay to a family member. You speak of hope, with compassion, you speak with caring but you speak knowing that bottom line we gave them everything we had," Dr. Chovanes said.
He was also a 9/11 first responder.