Dr. Richard Neel

Dr. Richard Neel

Congratulations to Dr. Richard L. Neel, MD, MPH, who was named as year’s BISD Wall of Fame recipient for Brazoswood High School.

Dr. Neel, is a former resident of Lake Jackson and a 1974 graduate of Brazoswood High School.  Dr. Neel is currently a family medical doctor and co-owner of several medical centers. Dr. Neel possesses an impeccable resume along with numerous accomplishments and experiences, and has significantly impacted his community, his state, his country, and numerous individuals around the world. Dr. Neel served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 20 years as a Chief Flight Surgeon and pilot reaching the rank of colonel before retirement.

One of the most memorable days in the history of Dr. Richard Neels’s military career, as well as in recent U.S. history, was September 11, 2001. On that horrific day, Dr. Neel happened to be at Andrew's Air Force Base, approximately three miles from the Pentagon, on an anti-terrorism team assignment. The team completed their briefing when they received the news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center and witnessed the damage to the Pentagon. Dr. Neel led a team of approximately 70 medical personnel to the Pentagon to provide rescue and critical care services. Through the more than 30 hours in this mission, Dr. Neel’s primary focus remained on locating survivors.

During his distinguished Air Force career, Dr. Neel was stationed in Europe for over eight years and served as a personal physician to many US Ambassadors, general officers, and senior state department personnel. He led emergency medical response teams for the NASA space shuttle emergency landing sites in Spain, Morocco, and the Republic of The Gambia, and he deployed numerous times for combat operations throughout the Middle East and Bosnia.

Dr. Neel served as the medical board member for six full Air Force aircraft mishap investigation boards and numerous interim boards. He discovered two design flaws in the F-16 and one in the F-4 resulting in engineering redesigns of the jets. This discovery exonerated at least nine pilots whose mishaps had been blamed on pilot error by previous boards.  Dr. Neel also discovered human factor issues that led to a change in air operations for Desert Storm.

While Dr. Neel was stationed in England, he flew in a helicopter rescue of 32 people on a sinking tanker stranded 300 miles off the coast of Ireland during a North Atlantic hurricane. The 12-hour mission was one of the longest recorded air-sea rescues in U.S. history and included refueling five times.

Dr. Neel's final assignment in the Air Force was as Chief of Medical Force Protection for Headquarters Air Force Security Forces. He researched countermeasures for biological weapons while serving on a global anti-terrorism team and worked with experts in the field. Dr. Neel searched for countermeasures against chemical, biological, and radiological weapons, and in the course of his research, he discovered the benefits of melatonin as both a powerful antioxidant and anti-toxin that is inexpensive and readily available over the counter.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Dr. Neel’s research revealed that melatonin could assist in the recovery of COVID-19 infections. Dr. Neel has been interviewed by various news stations and recognized for his work by the medical profession. Dr. Neel and his team successfully treated over 10,000 COVID patients ranging in age from 11 months to 90+ years, including successfully treating his own 90+-year-old mother with a high dose of melatonin.

In November 2020, Dr. Neel participated in an international teleconference of doctors, scientists, and researchers to discuss melatonin as a treatment for COVID-19. Dr. Harold Pupko, President of the North York branch of the Ontario Medical Association in Canada served as moderator. The association is made up of 500 Canadian physicians of all specialties. Dr. Pupko introduced Dr. Richard Neel as the world's leading physician on the subject of using high-dose melatonin as part of his regimen in treating COVID-19.

In 2020, Dr. Richard Neel was awarded the honor of Castroville’s Texas Citizen of the Year for his service to the community and to the world as a hero and pioneer using high-dose melatonin to treat COVID-19 patients suffering across Medina County and the state of Texas. This distinguished retired Air Force Colonel continues to practice medicine with the same courage he possessed while flying fighter jet missions years ago, saving lives and putting his patients first. To this day, Dr. Neel continues the age-old practice of making house calls to his elderly patients.

Richard is extremely proud of his upbringing in Lake Jackson, where his mother still resides. He is proud of the schools he attended in the Brazosport ISD school system and feels that BISD provided him with an excellent beginning to his successful career. Dr. Richard Neel remains in touch with many of his Brazoswood 1974 classmates and frequently returns home to check on his mother and visit with former classmates.

Dr. Richard Neel's areas of study and institutions attended:

Medical Degree - University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio
Master's Degree Public Health (MPH) Harvard University
Occupational and Environmental Law coursework - MIT
Residency in Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base
Fellowship in Occupational Medicine at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio
Board Certified in Aerospace Medicine

Decorations, honors, and awards granted to Dr. Richard Neel while serving in the United States Air Force:

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 1 Bronze Star
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon/Pistol
National Defense Service Medal with 1 Bronze Star
AF Overseas Long Tour Ribbon with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Armed Forces Service Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
AF Training Ribbon
AF Longevity Service Award with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Kuwait Liberation Medal
NATO Medal
AF Outstanding Unit Award with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
AF Organizational Award with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster

Dr. Richard Neel

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