I truly believe that I have the best job in the world. I joined the United States Navy on March 29th, 2004 and haven't doubted my decision to do so one single time. After graduating from college, I decided that I was kind of tired of school for the time being, and I didn't want a desk job. Some of my friends went on to grad school and other went right into their first jobs. I joined the Navy.

Sailor from day one
I went to Recruit Training Command (boot camp) for nine weeks in Great Lakes, IL. After graduation, I took the long journey across the street to Basic Hospital Corpsman A School. The school is a 14 week program. I finished through an accelerated 10 week program. After A School, I went to the west coast to Field Medical Service School at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, CA to forget everything that I learned in A School only to learn the ways of the Marine Corps. Battlefield medicine is very different from hospital medicine. All the sterile techniques, putting on your clean gloves, and washing your hands go out the window when you're in the field.

After finishing those three training commands, I reported to my first duty station on December 1st, 2004 - 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC. On the second day of being there, I was assigned to 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Aid Station. While I was there, I was able able to attend a short but incredibly useful training called Operational and Emergency Medical Skills (OEMS). After just a short time on a Marine Corps base, it was time to deploy.

Boot Camp Graduation -
June 2004
We left Camp Lejeune on March 3rd, 2005 for a year long deployment to Al Anbar Province, Fallujah, Iraq. We were there during a very important time for the people of Iraq. 8th Marines was there to provide security for and help coordinate elections for government official and for the first drafts of an Iraqi constitution. Looking back on the importance of our own constitution, this alone was worth the deployment. We also helped to train the Iraqi army and police battalions. As medical personnel, my role was to make sure they were healthy enough to be able to start those training programs. During the deployment, my fellow Sailors and I were able to earn our Enlisted Fleet Marine Force (FMF) Warfare Designators. This is perhaps one of my proudest military achievements to date.

After returning from the deployment in the beginning of 2006, I left 8th Marines and started working in the Navy Career Counselor's office for 2d Marine Division. It was here that I learned about other opportunities that the Navy had to offer. I loved doing career counseling and keeping people in the Navy. I think I would be a terrible recruiter as far as getting people to join the Navy, but I was quite good at keeping people in. Also while working in that office, I was fortunate enough to work for two of the finest Chiefs and one of the finest HM1s that the Navy has to offer.

Iraq - 2005
In August of 2007, I picked orders to a Navy base in New Orleans, LA. In November of 2007, I learned that I was selected for the Navy's Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program (MECP) - a program that I was not selected for the previous year. Just like that, the New Orleans orders were canceled and arrangements were made for orders as a MECP student at Stephen F. Austin State University. Things in the military can change in the blink of an eye.

Shortly before leaving Camp Lejeune, I was advanced to the rank of HM2 (E-5). I left Camp Lejeune on April 19th of 2008 and began school in June of 2008 in preparation for nursing school.

Officer Development School
August 2011
We're currently stationed at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Portsmouth, VA. I'm a staff nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and I couldn't be happier about it. Working with children is one of the most rewarding things I've done in the Navy. See the nursing section of my website to learn more.

My online Navy Shadow Box.