"I've been within this community," he says. "I understand the needs of this community. I understand the stresses that are out there."

Pooran lives in Jefferson in Frederick County with his wife, a pediatric critical care nurse, and works at the Veterans Administration hospital in Martinsburg, W. Va.

He was in Saudi Arabia on Sept. 11, 2001, as a member of the Maryland Air National Guard, and served at an Air Force hospital in Iraq in 2006. He is now a senior flight surgeon in the District of Columbia Air National Guard with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Joe Banks, a medic who worked with Pooran at the Air Force Theater Hospital at Balad, Iraq, describes him as cool under pressure.

"When everyone else is kind of freaking out and it's real busy, Milad has a way of calming everyone down and doing whatever is necessary to get the job done," he said. "It is inspiring, actually, to work with him."

matthew.brown@baltsun.com

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Milad Pooran

Party: Democrat

Born: Jan. 8, 1977, in Iran; immigrated to the United States, Nov. 23, 1983; raised in Beltsville

Education: University of Maryland, 1995; University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2000

Residence: Jefferson, Md.

Occupation: Critical care physician; contractor to the VA Medical Center, Martinsburg, W.Va.; lieutenant colonel, District of Columbia Air National Guard

Family: Married

Website: miladforcongress.com

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