Veterans Day: A Veteran Day Celebration of Nurses

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By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

November 11, 2021

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A Veterans Day Celebration of Nurses

On Veterans Day, The Gypsy Nurse likes to mention those in our nursing profession that serves the greater good.  Those that sacrifice their lives, their loved ones, and their families every day for their dedication to the US Military.  Not all are Veterans; not all are even Military.  Today, we hear a story of one civilian nurse that is also part of a Military family.

To all of the Veteran Nurses, civilian nurses, and to our brave men and women fighting in what sometimes seems un-endless wars: Thank you for your service to our country

I’m A Civilian nurse for the Department of Defense

Written by: Laurel Stark Byers RN BSN

I care for patients within the military family. I am no different from other nurses, except for having top security clearance and working at a military secured facility. All personnel shares a deep sense of pride, honor, and love for our country.

Every morning and evening, we observe a moment of silence and reflect on those who have served our country and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice as the flag is lowered and raised. I am a nurse. Nursing is more than a profession, a college degree, endless certifications, and training; it’s a desire and a need to assist and care for people. It’s setting aside everything in your world for a shift without reservation and making a real difference in someone’s life using your education, training, and bedside manner.

Specifically, as Labor and Delivery nurse at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, we help bring little people into the world every day. In addition to creating families, we care for the whole family. Our patients are as diverse as the Military, and each and everyone has a different story. In most cases, one parent is deployed. As a nurse in this type of situation, we become part of their family by default. We go that “extra mile” to improve our patient’s life and as a result, long-lasting relationships are formed through effective communication, critical thinking, and compassion.

I am a nurse, and I am always moved to tears when I witness a father serving our country seeing his child being born on Skype. A father on speakerphone with his whole platoon, sharing in the experience and counting from one to ten, while mom is pushing. Being able to witness this soldier telling his young bride how much he loves her and witnessing them fall in love again, sharing this miracle of life. Even though being separated by thousands of miles, we are all feeling the same emotions and sharing this moment as a family. In the end, I am intertwined in their lives and their story.

My short story is enough reason to give your time and talent to the Department of Defense.

Working with active duty and civilian nurses from all healthcare teams united by a common mission has been so rewarding, not to mention updated, cutting-edge technology. I have opportunities for continuing education and stepping up to different leadership roles. This has afforded me the greatest reward of not only helping those defending our freedom but also their families. Working to improve their lives has also vastly improved my own. Much of my life and way of living has been about pride in my country. I was a Navy wife, president of an OWC, and raised three children on Navel bases up the East Coast. I was able to participate in humanitarian relief projects and man homecomings.

Few occupations will earn more trust and respect than those related to healthcare. Working in this environment allows me to be there for the families of the heroes and to witness and encourage our wounded heroes to return to independent living. I am proud of my profession!

Thank you to all our Veterans, Veteran Nurses and Veteran Healthcare workers!

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