In honor of Veterans Day, observed Nov. 11, we are profiling Veterans who now are on faculty or students of St. Joseph's College of Nursing.
Q: What Branch of Service are you affiliated with?
A: I am affiliated with the United States Army - Active – (10 Years)/currently Reserve)
Q: What is your highest rank?
A: I am a Staff Sergeant (E-6).
Q: Where have you served?
- Current Assignment: Headquarters Company, 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion, Mattydale, NY
· Djibouti, Africa
· Tallil, Iraq
· Camp Beuhring, Kuwait
· Stuttgart & Frankfurt-Hoechst – Germany
· Waegwan, Korea
· US: Fort Knox, KY, Fort McClellan, AL, Fort Huachuca, AZ, Fort Gordon, GA, Fort Jackson, SC
Q: What if anything prompted you to become a nurse?
I have been bandaging and nursing anything in my path from dogs, dolls, family members, and friends since childhood. My family is rooted in the medical field, e.g. mother: CNA; nieces: medical school & pharmacy tech; nurses: sister & sister-in-law. After serving in Iraq my focus was redirected toward the nursing profession.
Q: What unique skills have you gained from serving your country?
- A: I have had the privilege to live on 4 of the 7 continents (North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe), and I have traveled to 19 different countries as a result of my military service. I have served with U.S. Joint Forces and International Forces. The greatest skill that I have acquired is international etiquette. I have learned that all people have the same basic needs: They want clean water & air. They want to be safe and live in peace. They want to be loved and appreciated for their differences and/or similarities. They want to have a purpose in life and to feel that their life has/had meaning. Additionally, a familiar symbol or mannerism in one culture may be offensive in another culture.
- I have learned to quickly adapt and to transitions into any environment regardless if it is hostile or friendly.
- I have learned the value of positive motivation, the art of the decision making process in high stress environments, and the importance of instilling teamwork and loyalty.
- I have learned the skill to appreciate the little things in life that most people take for granted and to not expend energy on those things that I cannot change.
- Lastly, I have developed the skill of teaching others to promote genuine kindness, understanding, selflessness, and respect for developmentally disabled persons, and culturally different populations that oppose and/or agree or disagree with American values and our way of life.
Q: What are the similarities of the service and nursing school?
Military policy and procedures are long-standing traditions that require strong, disciplined, creative and cerebral leadership at all echelons. Mrs. Needham, MSN, RN, compares equally to the most highly decorated, respected and warmly regarded leaders that I have had the honor and privilege of serving with in the United States Army. Her leadership style is unparalleled amongst any educator - military or civilian. The U.S. Army provides Soldiers with the most current technological advancements in the world and SJCON epitomizes what a nursing school should aspire to become. Both organizations promote hard work, volunteerism, and have established doctrine for wear and appearance of uniforms, and fingernails.
Q: What are the differences?
SJCON is a less diverse teaching atmosphere. Language skill identifiers are highly regarded and valued in the military service, e.g. the more languages that you are fluent with the more valuable you become to the military service. The military also provides a stipend if qualified for foreign language skills. Foreign nursing students are not regarded in the same manner at SJCON. Military motivation pushes you to achieve things you never imagined possible and promotes teamwork in all aspects of a mission without exception. SJCON motivates students in a very different but effective manner to accomplish nursing standards.
Q: Is there anything else that you want to share?
My son Max, served in both Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts as a lab technician, and is now a medical student, who will graduate May, 2014 from Louisiana State University. He hopes to pursue the field of Radiology. In 2008, I was afforded the honor and privilege by the U.S. Army to briefly visit with my son in Kuwait when I was redeploying from Iraq and he was deploying into Iraq. We had a quick bite to eat, and I took him on a shopping trip to buy him sunglasses, and a watch.