Surgeon runs G.I. Joe hospital

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LONE WOLF, Okla. (WILX) -- From 1964 to 1976, Hasbro churned out millions of G.I. Joe action figures that served in imaginary combat and playtime rescue.

Now one brave surgeon has started his own military hospital in Oklahoma where every patient answers to the same name.

His OR is a work bench in the back room of a former beauty shop.
"may have to put that in there"

Surrounded by body parts and the salvage of a million backyard battlefields, Dr. Neil Vitale saves as many G.I. Joes as he can.

"For some reason kids like to use ice picks on Joes," "unfortunately, a lot of them were burned up, $2.97 from Woolworth's."

They were really a tough bunch.

Starting in 1964 the first four Joes came from the four main branches of the military.

"They had 21 moveable joints"

Vitale still has the first two G.I. Joes he got as a kid.

"An lSO officer and a Air Force dress parade"

It's been a decade since his cousin called and told Neil to come and get them out of his attic.

"it was very strange to see those guys back again."

That started a search for other lost soldiers and pretty soon he was all over eBay and anywhere else he could think of to re-enlist the original soldiers.

The adventure team, the astronauts, he even learned how to cure the talkers.

"They said 8 different things"

His army was trapped in his basement for a few years but lone wolf's surplus business space solved a space problem for Vitale's military hospital.

"We decided that would be a pretty cool place for my G.I. Joes"

This D-Day diorama covers a whole side of his little museum and soon to come a full out assault on the next door real estate too.

Dr. Vitale's G.I. Joe repair shop and museum is open only by appointment because of his real pediatric practice in town.

But he does maintain a Facebook page for news and inquiries.