• Mr. Speaker, on 25 August 2015, the Great State of Texas lost one of its greatest sons. A world class trauma surgeon, educator and family man, Dr . James ``Red'' Duke is a legend of the Houston and Texas A&M communities.
  • I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of this good man and my friend.
  • Dr . Duke --or as I liked to call him ``the John Wayne in scrubs'' --was Texan to the core. His trademark bristly mustache, gold rimmed glasses, lanky Texas swagger and heavy twang were second only to his colorful personality.
  • I met Dr . Duke in the `80s when he appeared as an expert witness in criminal cases in my courtroom. (I was a felony court judge.)
  • A few years later we teamed up as doctor and judge to teach high school students lessons about drunk driving.
  • Working with him to make those kids think twice about their decisions is something I will never forget.
  • But while Dr . Duke may have been a straight shooter from humble roots, he was also one of the most celebrated folks in his field. He founded the Life Flight air ambulance service, wrote over forty publications, eighteen textbook chapters and gave almost 600 lectures. He became a household name through his educational TV series Bodywatch and the Texas Health Reports.
  • A man dedicated to serving others, Dr . Duke completed a two-year tour of duty as a tank officer in the 2nd Armored Division, before returning home from Germany to enter a theological seminary in 1955.
  • Shortly thereafter he switched from one life-saving vocation to another, qualifying as a physician and taking up a residency at the Parkland Memorial Hospital, where in 1963 he was the first surgeon to receive President Kennedy after he was shot on that fateful day in Dallas.
  • For the next 50 years, Dr . Duke dedicated himself to treating trauma victims and educating young doctors, while in his spare time, generously giving his time to the Boy Scouts and wildlife conservation efforts.
  • In 1989 he was considered for the position of Surgeon General of the United States, one year after being named Surgeon of the Year by the James F Mitchell Foundation.
  • While the United States did not receive the pleasure of Dr . Duke's service in this role, we in Texas were happy to have him stay. We were fortunate to call Red our own.
  • He was bigger than life.
  • He was ``John Wayne in Scrubs .''
  • And that's just the way it is.