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June 6, 2022

Inspired By The Past – Remembering The 78th Anniversary of D-Day

ThedaCare Team Member Shares His Special Journey to Health Care 

“My job was to prepare the wounded and try to bring them out of shock, readying them for the surgeons.”  

As Luke Menet reads the personal account of what his maternal grandfather, Dr. Richard Fahey, experienced on D-Day in 1944, he feels a strong connection to the man who inspired his health care career.  

“My grandfather was stationed in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters at different times during WWII,” said Menet, who is an Advanced Practice Clinician at ThedaCare Physicians-Kimberly. “He was a physician at Normandy on D-Day, and spent the first three days on the beach caring for the wounded. If they were severely wounded and needed immediate surgery, he would prep them. If they were wounded, but able to be transported back to England safely, he would stabilize them. And if they were to severely wounded and needed help passing peacefully, he would keep them comfortable until they died.”  

Dr. Fahey wrote a detailed account of the days and hours leading up to D-Day, and then, the invasion.  

“He did not like to talk about his experiences on D-Day, but I know he struggled with nightmares after the war,” Menet said. “I now understand the heartbreak he experienced by reading his account. He was one of the greatest people I have known. He was an author, a musician, a carpenter and a physician. He is one of my heroes.” 

Menet said his grandfather’s narrative was used as a reference when filmmakers were developing, “Saving Private Ryan”. More than a Hollywood story, it was his grandfather’s incredible character and compassion that led Menet to become a third-generation caregiver.  

“In addition to my grandfather, my father is also a retired physician,” said Menet. “My mother was a nurse, and my grandmother was a nurse. And I have other family members in health care as well. I guess it just seemed to be a natural fit for me.”  

Menet’s father also has a unique health care perspective – he started his career in Infectious Diseases in 1981, during a global pandemic that was later recognized as HIV/AIDS.  

“My father was one of the only Infectious Disease specialists in Appleton at the time,” Menet recalled. “I remember walking the halls with him, seeing how he cared for people during a time when the disease was new, and not much was known. He cared for them by truly listening to their needs and treating them with the knowledge available at the time.”  

His family experiences and stories have guided and inspired Menet, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the early days of the pandemic, before joining ThedaCare, Menet worked in a COVID respiratory clinic. 

“There was so much uncertainty, fear of the unknown,” he said. “Over the last two years, I have had periods of struggle and self-doubt. And that’s when I think about my grandfather and my father. Both of them survived uncertainty, experiencing horrible deaths, and difficult circumstances. They were also both able to have long careers as amazing physicians.  

They are my reason for hope, and remind me that I have been given a purpose to serve others in need.”  

Menet uses that hope as he cares for patients throughout the ThedaCare system, primarily practicing in Kimberly.  

“What I can take away from their stories is that caregivers can depend on the people around them, those who can offer shared experiences,” he said. “I think that is true as we all continue to heal from the COVID pandemic – physically, mentally and emotionally. It all takes a personal toll, and at times, we need to share stories and remind ourselves why we do this important work.”  

Menet’s son has expressed interest in a future health care career, and Menet has encouraged him to learn from those who have dedicated their lives to caring for others.   

“Stories like that matter,” said Menet. “There is something we can take away from each person’s story, wisdom passed down from generation to generation. We have the opportunity to use those lessons now, in our own lives and careers.”   

About ThedaCare 

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health and well-being of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including seven hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their unique best lives. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care. 

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on social media. Members of the media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.