Paying Tribute to Jackson Creek’s Veterans

Every November, our nation honors the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Jackson Creek Senior Living is fortunate to have several retired veterans and their spouses living in our community. One of those residents is retired Col. Dr. Edmund “Ed” A. Krekorian, a veteran of three wars, an internationally respected head and neck surgeon, and the author of four novels based on his experiences in the military.

Like many young adults, the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor motivated Dr. Krekorian to enlist in the military and fight for his country. In 1943, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and soon found himself in the Pacific islands fighting alongside fellow soldiers until atomic weapons ended the battle with Japan and hastened the end of World War II. Dr. Krekorian returned to the United States where he would be honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, attend Emory University, accept a direct commission as a second lieutenant in the Army, and marry his late wife of nearly 72 years, Patricia.

As a lieutenant in the Third Infantry Division commanding a platoon of self-propelled automatic weapons, Dr. Krekorian’s rescue of sixteen severely wounded British soldiers (Glosters) about to be taken prisoner by Chinese Communist Forces set him on the path to a medical career. 

Graduating from the Medical College of Georgia with honors in 1957, Dr. Krekorian eventually was assigned as Director, Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and appointed to the National Academy of Science. He became internationally known for his expertise in management of trauma of the head and neck and management of advanced malignancies of the head and neck.

First wedding anniversary photo of Col. Dr. Edmund “Ed” A. Krekorian and his late wife of almost 72 years, Patricia Krekorian, at the Henry Grady Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, June 30, 1951

In 1970 Dr. Krekorian was eligible to retire. Two prestigious university medical centers were recruiting him to replace their then-current chairman. Instead, he chose to go through parachute training and then to Vietnam. He served as Division Surgeon, (chief surgeon) Americal Division. After promotion to full colonel, he commanded the 400-bed 93rd Evacuation Hospital at Long Binh. During his Vietnam tour, he also served as U.S. Army Head and Neck consultant. 

Retiring from active military service after 27 years Dr. Krekorian joined the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Medicine as a professor in 1978. He was appointed Director, Head & Neck Surgery, at Denver Health & Hospitals. He was also on the staff of University Hospital and volunteer staff of the following: Denver Veterans Administration Hospital, and Children’s Hospital. 

After retiring as a professor emeritus, Dr. Krekorian went on to author several novels: From Bayonet to Scalpel: A Marine’s Odyssey (1996), Vietnam: A Surgeon’s Odyssey (2003), Operation Geriatric Geese (2016), and Operation Turtle Rock (2022).

In 2018, the Krekorians moved to Jackson Creek, a veteran-proud senior living community that is located near several military bases, including Schriever Air Force Base, the United States Air Force Academy, Fort Carson, and Peterson Air Force Base.

In full retirement, Dr. Krekorian became active in the Colorado Mountain Club and the local chapter of Kiwanis International. During many Christmas seasons, he could be found ringing the handbell at Walmart or King Soopers for the Salvation Army. 

This Veterans Day, Dr. Krekorian will deliver a presentation about the Korean War, the Boy Scouts will host a flag ceremony and the Oasis Band will perform a patriotic evening program at Jackson Creek.

At Jackson Creek Senior Living, we encourage veterans and their surviving spouses to apply for the Veterans Administration’s Aid and Attendance Benefits,* which can significantly offset the cost of monthly rent for our assisted living and memory support services. Call  719-259-1331 or visit jacksoncreekseniorliving.com to learn more and schedule a personalized tour.

*Please note that Jackson Creek cannot determine eligibility for Veterans’ Benefits; only the Veterans Administration can determine an applicant’s eligibility.

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