During my childhood, I would watch war movies with my father and he would tell me stores about his military experiences. His stories not only made me curious about the military, they also instilled a sense of patriotism in me and a desire to make a difference in our country and the world. These stories were not always positive reflections, nor glamorous tales of military life. What they did convey to me is his regret of leaving the military and that is what intrigued me even further to join the Air Force. In this paper I will talk about why I joined the Air Force, my most important Air Force experiences, duties and responsibilities as an operating room nurse, and how I contribute at the individual level and how that affects the overall Air Force mission at the operational level.
Shortly before graduating high school I began talking to a recruiter and from our discussions developed further reasons for wanting to join the Air Force. I wanted to have a specific purpose, not just a job. I wanted to belong to something bigger. Joining the Air Force gave my life direction, purpose, and motivation to achieve my goals.
Once I was in the military I began to work towards my goal and eventually obtained my Bachelors Degree in nursing. I began working as an operating room nurse and was soon deployed to Iraq. As an operating room nurse I was responsible for taking patients through the entire perioperative experience, from initial injury to procedure recovery.
Just 2 days after I arrived in Iraq our base was attacked. I will never forget that evening. As I opened the door to leave the hospital I heard a huge boom and three seconds later a cloud of dust and debris were at the entrance. I quickly closed the door and we all scrambled for cover. Immediately following the attack we had a wounded airman that was quickly carried in bleeding and hysterical. She was bleeding from her arms, legs and neck. The trauma team began to get her hooked up to the monitors and an intravenous line started while I began to set up the Operating Room. As soon as I finished I went to talk my patient, I told her what was happening and held her hand as we put her off to sleep for her procedure. Just as she fell asleep she looked at me squeezed my hand and said “please don’t let me die”.
I remember the day I took care of a particular Airman that was badly injured. He came in on a chopper and we took him to the Operating Room immediately. He had a tourniquet on his left arm, what was left of it, and his face was shredded from shrapnel and debris. This Airman had been hit by an Improvised Explosive Device and when he arrived we knew, due to the extensive blood loss and the condition of his left extremity that there was no way to save it. ...