CARNEGIE, Pa. — From serving our local community to those serving around the globe, a National Guard doctor is making us proud to be from Pittsburgh.
“It’s been God, family, country. And so, we just serve,” said Lt. Col. Alber Fogle of Carnegie. “I had always wanted to be in the army. My father was in World War Two, and (my) grandfather in World War One.”
So at age 46, Albert Fogle, a physician assistant at the time, did just that. He enlisted in the National Guard, and just a few years after, he made a bigger change — which few do at his age.
“I just felt a call from God to go be a doctor,” said Fogle. “So, talk(ed) ... with my wife, and she was on board. And so, I went back and got the credits I needed, took my MCAT, and was accepted the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine at 50. Turned 51 after a week in med school, sat beside two boys. I call them “boys” because they were the same ages, just about, as my sons.”
Nine years later, he graduated and started practicing, transferring back to Pittsburgh and becoming part of the Pennsylvania National Guard. The now-68-year-old has been serving actively the last year and a half, after the National Guard was activated to help control COVID-19 in nursing homes.
“I would look at them, do a site evaluation, and then make recommendations,” Fogle explained about what he did here in Western Pennsylvania. “We had medics, nurses and soldiers who would then be stationed at the nursing homes, to provide extra hands to care for our elderly. And that kind of tells the whole story about the National Guard. We are citizen soldiers. We bring our citizen skills, education to our citizens of the Pennsylvania, and so it was kind of first when everybody was sick with COVID.”
In July, the 400 active National Guard members were sent home and were no longer needed in Pennsylvania nursing homes; but Fogle isn’t done with his service and giving back to the community.
He’s packing his duffel bags and deploying to Poland in mid-August, where he will provide medical care to our troops training there until later this year.
While most guardsman retire at his age, Fogle asked for an extension to serve until he’s 70.
“I’m probably the oldest serving physician in all of the National Guards, we don’t have very many of my age,” Fogle said, smiling.
Lt. Col. Alber Fogel’s commitment to our community and service to our country make us Proud to be from Pittsburgh.