OGDEN -- After spending four years transporting and caring for wounded military members in the Middle East, Dr. Hans Jenkins decided to continue helping those who he said have sacrificed so much.
Jenkins is helping build a home in West Point for wounded soldier Isaac Jensen. Jenkins volunteered to help through Homes for Our Troops, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building homes for veteran's with disabilities.
"He (Jensen) was injured in the Iraq war while performing his job as a medic," Jenkins said. "His new house will allow him to better perform his daily activities in a safe handicap-able house."
The house is built by professional, licensed contractors with the help of volunteers such as Jenkins, who also provides first aid and support for the builders.
"With all the mental and physical injuries I saw and treated while deployed and at home, I have decided to spend the rest of my career supporting the veterans and their families in my clinic and anywhere else my skills can be used," Jenkins said.
Born and raised in Centerville, Jenkins, who is married with five children and two dogs, served as an active duty flight surgeon for the U.S. Air Force during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. After graduating from Weber State University, he went on to obtain his medical degree from Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. He practices family medicine in Ogden.
"When I was 8 years old I was hiking in the Wasatch Mountains with my younger cousin. After he scratched his leg, I cut my new shirt up with my pocket knife and bandaged him up," he said. "Once I recovered from my mom's punishment for cutting up my new shirt, I knew I wanted to be a doctor."
Jacque Mason, Jenkins' office manager, said Jenkins is easy- going and has a wonderful bedside manner and a great sense of humor.
"His patients love him," she said. "He's always cheerful and is easy to talk to."
Jenkins said working in a deployed setting allowed him many opportunities to diagnose diseases and injuries without the help of modern diagnostic equipment such as X-ray and laboratory tests.
Jenkins said he would advise anyone studying medicine to never forget why they made the decision to do so. The road is hard and trying at times.
"At many points you will want to quit but if you always keep your end goal in mind and have a good attitude it will pay off," he said.
Jenkins said, for him, helping veterans has become a passion and he would like to raise awareness of the struggle a lot of injured heroes have as they and their families try to resume a "normal" civilian life.
"We should never forget what our veterans and their families sacrificed for us," Jenkins said. "If there are any veterans or their family members who are in need of a family medicine physician or any other medical services, please come and see me and I will try to help in any way possible."