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U of U Veterans Medallion



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Branch: Navy
Theatre: Korea / Vietnam / Desert Storm

Dennis Harvey Gordon was born in 1937 in Brigham City, Utah. After completing his Surgical Residency at the University of Utah, he relocated to Pensacola, Florida in 1967 and joined the Navy to serve as a Navy Flight Surgeon.

As duty stations typically change, he was sent to Moffett Field in California to be the flight surgeon for the VP-31st and the VP-47th Patrol Squadrons. During his time with the VP-47 squadron, the patrols were for search and destroy missions off the coastal waters of both South and North Korea. He performed all necessary surgeries on our wounded military during this conflict.

Continuing his time with the VP-47th squadron, Gordon volunteered to be a part of a six-month rotation in the Philippines and the Demilitarized Zone of South Vietnam. During his time in the Philippines he assisted with their Public Health Services for all members of this community, as well as providing necessary surgeries as needed.

The next rotation took him into the Demilitarized Zone of South Vietnam, where he worked directly with a local orphanage providing medical attention to the orphans, surrounding community, and all wounded military regardless of the country they represented.

After two years as a flight surgeon, he began his orthopedic surgical residency at Bethesda Naval Hospital where he treated numerous Vietnam casualties. Over the next 10 years, he would serve in as a surgeon in other military hospitals until he left active duty, settled into private practice, but remained in the Naval Reserves with a medical unit in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a reservist, Capt. Gordon was activated for Desert Storm where he was assigned to Oakland Naval Hospital to backfill for active duty personnel.

After 26 years in the Navy and the countless surgeries performed to improve the lives of orphans and communities in other countries, as well as our own wounded military, Capt. Gordon retired from the Navy receiving the National Defense Service medal and a Bronze Star.

Gordon spends his time now with his lovely wife Judy, traveling as much as possible and spending time with his three daughters and several grandchildren.

Honor A Veteran

Selections are only based on the nominee's military service
Nominees do not have to be alumni or associated with the university in any way. Each year, the committee selects eleven honorees based on noteworthy honor, courage, commitment, and sacrifice during their military service to our nation, but decorations for valor are not required. Selections are only based on the nominee's military service.