One Man's Story

Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Michael Clark (BS ’85, Physician’s Assistant) served with the 101st Airborne Division and also took on the role as a medic at the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Vietnam during the war. In 2006, Clark attended the first reunion of the 85th Evacuation Hospital in San Diego, and it was at this reunion that he decided that their story needed to be told.

Clark realized that, as a war veteran, attending the reunion was healing and helped him face his experiences. As a result, he was encouraged  to do something he had never done before. Clark published his book, One Man’s Story: Memoirs of a Vietnam Vet in May 2014.

When Clark returned home from Vietnam, a hospital was the last place he ever wanted to work; but when he was laid off from his factory job, he took on the job as an orderly at Leila Hospital in Battle Creek. In 1981, Clark decided to follow the path of a previous co-worker and attend Western Michigan University to become a physician’s assistant. At his graduation, Clark received the William Birch Award for Clinical Excellence, and now holds a special place in his heart for the Brown and Gold.

“I attended two colleges and two universities for my education, and have the fondest memories at Western,” Clark said. “My education there was excellent and I was well prepared for my career.”

Clark took a job in Milwaukee working on a cardiothoracic surgical team; participating in 1,300 open heart procedures a year, as well as heart transplants. Clark then moved on to Racine, Wis., where he has been practicing emergency medicine for the last 18 years.

When it comes to writing, Clark offers some sound advice: write from the heart, take as much time as you need to write it, and most of all, don’t get discouraged.

Clark’s book is available at

Posted by Stan Sulewski