Johnston County doctor honored for his wartime service
TISHOMINGO, Okla. -- Dr. Eugene Bell has been a well-known figure in Johnston County for most of his life -- a life of service.
"I've served as a medical professional here for 40 years," he said.
Bell said he doesn't remember how many patients he helped during that time, but he does remember just the number of babies he delivered.
"I'm not sure exactly, but I think it's something like 1,008," he said.
Before starting his medical career, Bell had another job -- in the Army Air Corps.
Bell served in Germany during World War II as an engineer in the Air Corps. It's a time he says is hard to talk about.
"I was shot down over Germany and I spent 13 months in the prison camp before we were liberated," he said.
Memorial Day brings back difficult memories for Bell -- ones he says most younger people can't understand. "I don't know how I could tell them how I want them to think about it because they have no idea about it -- the young people," Bell said.
This Memorial Day, the Johnston County Veterans Center hopes to honor Bell's service in a special way.
The new Washita River Bridge is now dedicated to Dr. Bell and will bear his name for years to come. "I'm certainly grateful that they're doing this.
he said. "I never expected it, but I appreciate it very much."
Although this dedication honors Bell’s service to his country, he’s more proud of the services he’s provided to Johnston County. “My greatest accomplishment,” he asked. “Well I don’t know, just practicing medecine, I think.”