For nearly 3-decades, Dr. Dan Meyer has been operating on and transplanting hearts. Recently the cardiac surgeon with Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital-Dallas took on another job as Navy Reserve Lt. Commander Dan Meyer.
"Of course they wanted your age, and I just thought, 'why do I have to put that,'" Meyer said speaking about the forms he had to fill out to sign up for the Navy Reserve. "Everyone knows I'm the oldest one here!"
Meyer is 63-years old.
"The oldest recruit in the Navy," Meyer said smiling. "So that's my main distinction."
He already has a distinguished career at Baylor University Medical Center-Dallas, operating on and transplanting hearts and lungs for nearly 30 years. Meyer said he always wanted to do medical mission work, but there wasn't a big market for it in his field of expertise.
"I just kept saying I want to do that, and I thought before the end of my career I don't want to say, 'I wish I would have done this,'" Meyer said. "And so that's how I really started looking into the military, and specifically, the Navy."
Meyer is a recent and the oldest graduate of the U.S. Navy Officer Development School. He was among 80 newly commissioned officers, most of them in their 20's and 30's.
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"You run around, get yelled at all morning and all day," Meyer said talking about the rigorous training. "But then I thought, this getting up at 4:00 a.m., getting yelled at all day, is like my day job."
Meyer also earned the Honors Student Award at graduation; which is based on academics, physical fitness, and military bearing.
"It's a big honor to be involved in the military. So many have sacrificed for what we have," Meyer said wiping away tears. "Someone even as old as me can keep trying to give back."
Meyer is based with the Marines at Camp Pendleton in Southern California running the Expeditionary Medical Facility. He will go there once a quarter and spend one weekend a month at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth.
Meyer is keeping his 'day job' in cardiac surgery at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital-Dallas.