Army Twins On A Unique Tour Of Duty

Army Reserve Medical Corps' Vince and Vance Moss in Afghanistan.
Courtesy of Vince and Vance Moss

After a unique tour of duty, two U.S. Army Reserve doctors, return to America. You may mistake one for the other. But there is no mistaking the good they did. CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston reports.

In all of America, there may not be another set of twins like Vince and Vance Moss.

"It's quite simple: when it comes to the Moss brothers, everything we've done is a carbon copy," says Maj. Vance Moss.

"I think we both came to the conclusion, that, after the Boy Scouts, getting Eagle Scout, we wanted something more challenging," says Maj. Vince Moss.

After college and medical school, the challenge they selected was the Army Reserve Medical Corps.

In an unusual arrangement, the U.S. military allowed the moss brothers to be assigned to a non-profit medical group. With Afghan army escorts, the doctor duo shed their uniforms and flak jackets and traveled throughout central Afghanistan treating civilians.

There they treated all types of problems, says Vance Moss. "From minor surgical procedures, to major surgical procedures, to just regular medical care, looking at bumps and bruises."

"We did a lot of operating on children because of the amputations," says Vince Moss. "This is something I will never forget coming off the plane in Kabul. The minute we got off the plane and seeing the number of kids that didn't have any limbs … They've got over 10 million mines still there. 10 million mines."

Many of the patients they saw traveled by foot and waited for hours.

"There was one day, just one day, we went to a village and we must have seen 150 patients," says Vance Moss.

The patients called them "donanagee," which means, "same face healers," says Vance Moss.

Twins — healers — on a mission for America. In civilian life, Vance Moss is a transplant surgeon on Long Island. Vince is a cardiothoracic surgeon in New Jersey. Both single, they share a bachelor pad in Manhattan.

When asked if their parents knew they were going to Afghanistan, the men laugh and say no.

They joke now about the danger, but there's no question it was a high-risk mission.

You see individuals come into the operating room, that you have no idea how they got in, carrying weapons. We had to stay focused on our patient," says Vance Moss.

Asked if they were ever afraid, Vince Moss, says "Everyday."

"There were times when we would think about what our headstones would say when they ship bodies back to the states: 'Two crazy twins. What were they doing here?' " says Vance Moss.

But their fear took a back seat to the overwhelming need.

"I think about the patients that we left behind, the ones that we couldn't help, the ones that didn't survive. And we tried to work on them. It's an emotional situation," says Vance Moss.

Working together helped them cope. And yes, they want to go back to Afghanistan.
Randall Pinkston