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Honoring Our Veterans

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Lake Regional is proud to honor our veterans! Veterans on our team received a special T-shirt to wear today so we can thank them for their service. Learn about their military histories and what Veterans Day means to them in these mini-bios.

Crystal Baldwin, R.N., Home Health and Hospice

Rank: Captain

Branch: Army Nurse Corps

Military and Deployment History: I served a total of 27 years active and reserve duty. I served as both enlisted and officer. My only overseas assignment was Korea. I was not deployed into a combat zone.

  • Why did you join the military? I joined the Army as a musician. I played the oboe for 15 years before acceptance into the program to attend nursing school and become an officer.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? My opportunities in the Army as a leader prepared me for roles in civilian life.

Joseph E. Barfield, Volunteer

Branch: PFC Army

Awards: Sharp Shooter, National Defense, Good Conduct

  • Why did you join the military? I joined because I was drafted.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day is being proud of your country and honoring those who served.

Curt Barker, Security Officer, Security

Rank: Major

Branch: Army

Military and Deployment History: Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003-04 and 2007-08

Military Awards: Bronze Star (highest)

  • Why did you join the military? I wanted to serve my country and do my part as my father had. He joined the Army and served in the Korean War.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? It is a day to reflect, remembering all of those who I served with that didn’t make it back, and to honor all veterans for their love of country. I believe it is very important that we honor those who believe in this country and are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for it.

Keith A. Bonacquisti, M.D., ENT & Audiology

Rank: Commander

Branch: US Navy

Military and Deployment History: Naval Regional Medical Center Portsmouth, VA; Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, NC

Military Awards: National Defense Service Metal (Desert Shield and Desert Storm)

  • Why did you join the military? For the opportunity it presented to obtain training in my specialty that was second-to-none, as well as putting that to use in service to my country.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? I enjoy meeting the many veterans living in the area who come here for care, as well as the active duty folks assigned to Fort Leonard Wood. VIPs all!
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Trust but verify.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Freedom is not free. Those who have served understand the sacrifices required by themselves and their families in that service and, more than most, what is required to keep America free going forward.

Michael Casella, Volunteer

Branch: Army

Military and Deployment History: Served from 1956 to 1958. Sang with touring soldier show throughout seven states and D.C. Great duty!

  • Why did you join the military? I didn’t join; I was drafted.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? The cardinal rule in the military is never volunteer! I disregarded that rule and did Proved to be much to my benefit for the rest of my time in the service.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day gives us time to pause and honor all who served — especially those who made the extreme sacrifice or were wounded in the line of duty.

David Cooper, Biomed Tech II, Clinical Engineering

Rank: Master Chief Petty Officer (E9)

Branch: U.S. Coast Guard

Military and Deployment History: 27 years active duty. New Jersey, Texas, California, Hawaii, Florida, Louisiana and Alaska including a 10-ton cocaine bust and multiple national disaster responses, including frontline response to Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.

  • Why did you join the military? Always wanted to serve.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? “You always have to go out. You don’t have to come back.”

Jacob Lyle Dreste, Staff Radiologic Tech, Diagnostic Imaging

Rank: SPC E4

Branch: Army

Military and Deployment History: OIF III “Iraq” 2004-2005

Military Awards: Valorous Unit Award

  • Why did you join the military? I wanted to do my part as a citizen of the Republic. The “least” I could do was be a soldier.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? I received the GI bill, which payed for tuition costs, which allowed me to work in the medical field and be able to work at LRHS.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Stay Alert, Stay Alive
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? It’s a day to think about all the people who have served in the Armed forces on behalf of the US.

Mike Dow, Director of Ancillary Services, Operations Administration

Rank: Captain

Branch: US Army

Military and Deployment History: Active duty 1997 to 2001, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. Deployed to Bosnia 1999. Department of Defense civilian employee 2001-2005, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.

  • Why did you join the military? ROTC scholarship, leadership development, serve my country
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? Prepared me for effective team management and leadership opportunities.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Lead by example. Learn from others’ mistakes. Cultivate trust and integrity.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Duty, Honor, Country, Pride and Comradery

Robert Dye, Volunteer

Rank: EM1 (Electricians Mate First Class)

Branch: US Navy

Military and Deployment History: January 1967 to December 21, 1972; Basic Nuclear Power School, Bainbridge, MD: Knoll Atomic Power Laboratory, Balston Spa, NY; USS Robert K Huntington DD781, USS Truxton DL(G)N 35

Military Awards: National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, RVN Campaign Medal with device, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea) and Vietnam Service Medal.

  • Why did you join the military? I was given the choice of choosing a branch of service or being drafted. So I chose Navy.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? In the military, one learns that it isn’t all about self; it’s about serving and protecting others. So I volunteer where I can do the most good.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Use all of your senses, especially when dealing with others.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? It’s a day of reflection.

Laura Garza, Pharmacy Tech, Pharmacy

Rank: E-5

Branch: Army

Military and Deployment History: Quartermaster Corps and Recruiting

Military Awards: AAM, National Defense, ASR, Global War on Terrorism

  • Why did you join the military? I joined the military to be able to pass my GI Bill to my children and to travel.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? One thing the military taught me is that no one cares more for you than YOU.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day allows me to take a step back and remember all of the laughs and friendship I have made with people all over the world and to cherish the moments with the buddies who are no longer with me on earth.

Caroline Gilbert, Sterile Processing Tech, Surgery

Rank: A1C

Branch: Air Force

Military and Deployment History: F-16/F-117 Avionics System Apprentice Holloman AFB New Mexico

  • Why did you join the military? To do something good for my country.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? Being in the military gave me a strong work ethic and taught me the importance of being dependable.

Matthew Gundy, Biomed Tech II, Clinical Engineering

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Branch: Army

Military and Deployment History: Stationed at Ft Knox, KY; Ft Carson, CO; Sheppard AFB, TX; Ft Sam Houston, TX; Ft Leonard Wood, MO. Deployed to Iraq x2 and Afghanistan

Military Awards: 3 Army Commendation Medals, 4 Army Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Combat Action Badge, and more.

  • Why did you join the military? Grew up in a military family, had always wanted to join.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Don’t rest on your laurels; always strive to be better.

Chris Harper, Director of Technology

Rank: E/4 Specialist

Branch: US Army/Arkansas National Guard

Military and Deployment History: Deployed in 1991 to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Storm. This deployment spanned 3 separate missions and lasted almost 1 full year. Our unit was a field ambulance support group that attached to any medical installation within the theatre. The 40 ambulance unit treated and transported over 5000 American soldiers while deployed.

MOS: 91B (Bravo) Field Ambulance

Military Awards: 1 million mile military safe driving award

Please answer at least 2 of the below:

  • Why did you join the military? I primarily joined for the GI program.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? I believe my military experience has provided me with a unique combination of medical as well technical ability.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Most butter bars don’t have a clue!
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day is a time to reflect on a time in my life as a soldier and to join hands with other veterans.

Jeff Harrison, Director of Facilities, Facilities Operations

Rank: Specialist

Branch: Army Airborne

Military and Deployment History:

  • Basic: Fort Jackson, SC
  • AIT: Fort Gordon, GA
  • Airborne School: Fort Benning, GA
  • PDA: Fort Bragg, NC - 18th Airborne Corp: 20th Combat Engineer Brigade: 27th Combat Engineer Battalion, HHC

Military Awards: Parachutist Badge; Air Assault Badge; Combat Lifesaver Course; Army Commendation Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Good Conduct Medal

  • Why did you join the military? Wanted to serve as my grandfather did and needed a change of pace. I got it…
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? The military gave me a solid footing and skillsets that I could apply to various jobs and tasks.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Pay attention, don’t panic, and work the problem.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? A day to think about all the people I served with and to miss that lifestyle somewhat.

Herbert L Harvey Jr., Security Officer, Security

Rank: Corporal

Branch: US Marine Corps

Military and Deployment History: Vietnam Era

Awards: Expert Marksman; Good Conduct Ribbon; National Defense Ribbon

  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? My military experience gave me the ability to think under pressure and to maintain a professional attitude during stressful situations.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day is a day to remember the comradery and friendships I built up during my career as a Marine

Donny Hawley, R.N., Progressive Care Unit

Rank: Senior Airman

Branch: Air Force

Military and Deployment History: I worked as a maintainer/equipment manager.

  • Why did you join the military? I joined the military to go to college.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? My military experience helps me with organization and focus.

Karen Hayes, APRN, ACNP, Lake Ozark Clinic

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Branch: Army Nurse Corps

  • Why did you join the military? I initially joined the Army in Nursing School to pay for education and because I thought it would be a good opportunity to experience the world. It turned into 26 years of active and reserve service with tons of experiences and good friends.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? I learned a lot of discipline as well as a “work together” attitude that has carried me through my career, including Lake Regional the last eight years.

Dane W. Henry, FACHE, CEO, Administration

Rank: Captain

Branch: US Air Force

Military and Deployment History: Supported Operation Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Operation Restore Hope/Gothic Serpent (Mogadishu, Somalia), Operation Restore Hope (Rwanda)

Military Awards: National Defense, Expert Marksman, Air Force Achievement, Meritorious Service Medal, McChord Air Force Base Officer of the Year 1995

  • Why did you join the military? First, to serve in the defense of our country and carry on the generational commitment to military service held in my family. Second, ability to work in health care and develop a foundation for my career.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? Taught me multiple, invaluable lessons about leadership and commitment to purpose.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Develop and support your troops with exceptional leadership and engagement, and they will take care of executing the mission.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? It is a source of pride and recognition of the brotherhood formed and sustained by all of us that served in the military. My sacrifices were minuscule compared to the totality of sacrifice from others. To me, it is a day of reverence and gratitude for those amazing Americans.

Bart Howe, Biomed Supervisor, Clinical Engineering

Rank: TSgt

Branch: US Air Force

Military and Deployment History: Blytheville AFB, AR., Malmstrom AFB. Great Falls, MT., Kunsan Korea, Whiteman AFB Knob Noster, MO. Several deployments to Saudi Arabia, Fairford, England (Desert Storm)

Military Awards: AF Commendation Medal x3, AF Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Award, AF Outstanding Unit Award x7, AF Good Conduct Medal x7, National Defense Service Medal with silver star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, AF Longevity Service with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters.

  • Why did you join the military? All the men in my family served at one time or another. Felt I could see new things and learn a good trade while serving my country.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? The training I received at Sheppard AFB is the best training center in the country for BIOMEDs.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Do the right thing even when no one is watching.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Brotherhood, brings back a lot of good memories

Denise Keppler, Staff Radiologic Tech, Diagnostic Imaging

Rank: E-5

Branch: Army Reserve

Military and Deployment History: I served as a Preventative Medicine Specialist in the Army Reserve for 14 years.

  • Why did you join the military? I joined the military to help pay for my education and stayed in because of the travel. My unit traveled overseas for medical humanitarian missions to Ecuador, Suriname and the Dominican Republic.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? I am always thankful of those who served, especially during wartime.

Gary Krizanich, Volunteer

Rank: E5/SP5

Branch: Military and Deployment History: Army, One year overseas assignment to Sinop, Turkey

Military Awards: Army Commendation Medal

  • Why did you join the military? To contribute to the National Defense serving in the Army Security Agency
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? An opportunity for Americans to honor those who have served in defense of the Nation.

Ray Landrum, Volunteer

Rank: MM1 SS

Branch: Military and Deployment History: Navy

Military Awards: National Defense Service Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal

Barbara “Bobbie” Ann Newton Lankford, Volunteer

Rank: E3-E4

Branch: US Navy; Hospital Corpsman, Instruction and Education personnel instructor.

Military and Deployment History: Basic Training, Bainbridge, Maryland. Hospital Corps school Greatlakes, Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill.

Military Awards: Mail PO, Honor guard, Drill team, Honorable Discharge from US Navy.

  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Don’t ask; just do it!
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? All military persons are willing to die for their country, but those who do give their life must be honored for giving the ultimate sacrifice.

Thomas “Tom” Ray Lankford, Volunteer

Rank: E 5 Inter Communications Electrician

Branch: US Navy

Military and Deployment History: Basic Training: San Deigo, California; Served on two ships: USNS Bowdich and USS Compass Island

Military Awards: Good Conduct Medal and Honorable Discharge from US Navy.

  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Follow the chain of command.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Reminds me of those who give the supreme sacrifice for this country.

Stephanie Lauenstein, R.N., Med/Surg

Rank: USN E4 Corpsman

Branch: Navy

Military and Deployment History: 4 years San Diego, command clinic work; Balboa hospital women’s health and pediatrics

  • Why did you join the military? I wanted to get out on my own and away from home.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? Military paid for my nursing school career and gave me experience in the health care field.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Joining the military is a good way for young adults to mature, find themselves and experience life. It teaches you structure and how to apply that to your life.

Marita Linebaugh, Clinical Denial Specialist, Revenue Integrity

Rank: E-3

Branch: Navy

Military and Deployment History: Deployed from February 2002-August 2002 on the USS John F. Kennedy

Military Awards: Operating Enduring Freedom deployment

  • Why did you join the military? To see new things and experience new adventures.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day is a chance to thank our military heroes present and past for serving our country.

James Looney, Accounts Payable Representative, Accounting

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Branch: USMC/Army

Military and Deployment History: Joined 1992, Retired from Army National Guard 2016. Deployed 2005 – 2006 Iraq, deployed 2011 – 2012 Iraq.

  • Why did you join the military? I joined to help defend our country and for education benefits.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Make sure you get your time from the military because the military will definitely get its time from you.



Martha Lutz, R.N., Outpatient

Rank: E-4\Petty Officer 3rd Class

Branch: Navy

Military and Deployment History: Joined during Operation Desert Storm, deployed to Bahrain and USS Platte, otherwise served in Naval Hospitals

Military Awards: NAM (Navy Achievement Medal) x 2, Flag Staff Letter of Commendation,

  • Why did you join the military? To serve my country and pay for college.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? It is where I learned all my nursing skills.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Someone is always having a worse day than you. Don’t let your patients know if you’re having a bad day.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? It makes me feel proud of our troops present and past. It brings up fond memories of my own experiences and friendships I formed while active duty too.

Stephanie Macias, Patient Access Trainer & Quality Assurance Coordinator, Patient Access Services

Rank: E-5 (Sergeant)

Branch: Marine Corps

Military and Deployment History: I was active duty for four years (2006-2010) with one deployment to Iraq in 2009.

  • Why did you join the military? I joined because I knew in my heart that I was not ready for college. I had a lot of growing up to do, and after talking to some recruiters, I knew it was what I wanted to do!
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Complacency kills. Whether you are on the frontlines in battle or in a hospital, the worst thing you can do is become complacent.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day is appreciating all those who have served before me, with me and after me. It is also a day where I can reminisce on so many memories from my time in the service. Whether they are good or bad, I will live with those memories and pass them on to my kids so they will know the importance of Veterans Day.

Latricia (Trish) Mayer, Document Imaging Specialist, Health Information Management

Rank: SrA (Senior Airman) E4

Branch: US Air Force Active Duty

Military and Deployment History: Active Duty 1991-1998.

  • Lackland AFB, TX; 3708th Basic Military Training Squadron
  • Keesler AFB, MS; 81st Training Wing
  • Makalapa Compound; Pearl Harbor, HI Joint Intelligence Center Pacific (JICPAC)
  • Cheyenne Mountain AFS, CO. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) 721st Communications Squadron Air Force Space Command
  • Various other assignments, but I can’t tell you or I’d have to kill you! lol

Military Awards: Airman of the Year JICPAC 1993; Airman Leadership School 1996; Air Force Achievement Medal; Joint Service Achievement Medal;Air Force Longevity Service Award; National Defense Service Medal; Air Force Good Conduct Medal; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award; Air Force Commendation Medal

  • Why did you join the military? I left behind a full-ride college scholarship to join the military during the Gulf War. Love of Country has always been instilled in me, and I felt it was my duty to serve.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? The values and work ethic I obtained during my military career have truly been an asset to my job here at Lake Regional. Also, attention to detail is important in my position, and the Air Force helped to instill that in me as well.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Live your life with integrity.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day is a time to offer a simple “thank you” to those who volunteered and served our great nation. The majority of veterans will tell you it was truly our honor to serve, but it’s still nice to be recognized.

April Miller, FNP-C, Lake Regional Obstetrics and Gynecology

Rank: Cpt

Branch: Army

Military and Deployment History: Enlist as Military Police then switched to Army Nurse Corps as an officer, many deployments between 2007- 2020

Military Awards: 3 AAM, Honor Grad WLC, 300 + APFT,

Please answer at least 2 of the below:

  • Why did you join the military? Husband and I wanted to give back after 9-11
  • How has your military experience impacted your career at Lake Regional? Allowed me to continue my education as an NP
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Loyalty and Integrity are vital
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Honoring all military members and their families for the sacrifices made.

Robert Mort, Registered Respiratory Therapist, Respiratory Therapy

Rank: SPC ( E4)

Branch: US Army

Stateside deployment- Aircraft electrician active duty 1986 to 1989/ MT NG medic 1989-1990

Army achievement medal (2)

Good conduct medal

  • Why did you join the military? I joined up to serve my country and to pay for college.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? Being in the military enforced my work ethic and sense of duty to the public.

Chris Murphy, R.N., Progressive Care Unit

Rank: SPC

Branch: Army

Military and Deployment History: 1st Infantry Division OIF 2 2004 to 2005

  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? I was a Combat Medic and LPN and helped build a solid Medical/Trauma knowledge for working as a RN.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? It should be a reminder to everyone of what was sacrificed by all to be where you are today.

Chad Nelson, Biomed Tech, Clinical Engineering

Rank: Senior Airman

Branch: US Air Force

Military and Deployment History: Bitburg AFB, West Germany, Al Kharj Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield / Desert Storm, Shaw AFB Sumter, South Carolina

Military Awards: AF Achievement MEDAL W/1 Oak Leaf Cluster, AF Outstanding Unit Award, AF Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 2 Bronze Stars

AF Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, AF Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon, AF Training Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal.

  • Why did you join the military? For the technical training.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? You can do anything with a good team around you.

Lannah Rallo (Anstine), Lab Assistant, Lab

Rank: SPC

Branch: Army National Guard

Military and Deployment History: I was in the Guard from November 2016 through January 2021.

  • Why did you join the military? My father, grandfather and uncle were in the military, and I wanted to be the first female in our family to join.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? The military taught me to be an impactful leader, and I have used those leadership skills all throughout my life.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Voice your opinion because we will never know what needs to change or stay the same if we never voice our opinions.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day means we honor those who have sacrificed their lives to fight for the freedom of America.

Bruce Schlager, R.N., Diagnostic Imaging

Rank: Major

Branch: Air Force

Military and Deployment History: I’m a retired Air Force Major who served 32 years in the Air Force, active duty, Reserves and National Guard. I was stationed at Hill AFB, Utah, Richards-Gebaur AFB, MO, NAS New Orleans, LA Scott AFB, Illinois. I flew Aeromedical Evacuation the last 10 years out of Scott AFB, Illinois flying on C-130, C-17, KC-135. I’ve worked on multiple aircraft while enlisted loading weapons onto them before getting my commission and becoming a Flightnurse the last 10 years. My deployments included Desert Storm, 1991; Iraq, 2007; Afghanistan, 2011

Military Awards: Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Achievement Medal, Commendation Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Small Arms Expert Medal, National Defense

  • Why did you join the military? I wasn’t ready to go to college, so I joined the military to see the world and go places.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Always be willing to adapt to change! Things change every day, so learn to adapt and overcome!
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? It gives me the chance to reflect on my career in the military and to be so thankful for the people I’ve met, places I’ve been and the experiences I’ve been through serving this great Nation.

Jan Seladis, Volunteer

Rank: Major

Branch: US Air Force

Military and Deployment History: Served at Wright Patterson, McChord & Scott Air Force bases

  • Why did you join the military? To use my nursing skills in serving my country.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? I feel my military experience has made me an even more well-rounded volunteer and more appreciative of the patients here who served our country.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day is special to me as it reminds me of the sacrifice and selfless service of so many, and as a nurse, it is such a reminder of how important medical professionals are to our military.

Gunther Skaletz, Volunteer

Rank: Private

Branch: Army

Deployment History: Fought Russia on the East front in 1944

  • Why did you join the military? I had no choice.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? I’m able to help other people and receive comfort from that.
  • What does Veteran’s Day mean to you? It’s a day to recognize the men and women who fought for freedom. Freedom isn’t free. Freedom has its price.

Lacy Southard, Registered Respiratory Therapist, Pulmonology

Rank: First Class Petty Officer

Branch: Navy

Military and Deployment History: 5 years reserve and 3 years active duty as the funeral honors coordinator

Military Awards: 5 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals

  • Why did you join the military? My mom, dad, grandpa and uncle were all in the Navy.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? No one can stop time.

Greg Thrasher, Network Systems Analyst, Information Systems

Rank: SSGT

Branch: USAF

Military and Deployment History:1973-1977

Military Awards: Some but not all.

  • Why did you join the military? GI Bill
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Go to college, young man.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Pride in America

Larry Vitor, Volunteer

Rank: E-8

Branch: Army

  • What is the best advice you received in the military? Don’t get killed.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? Dead school friends. Bad memories.

Leon Wahlbrink, Volunteer

Rank: Specialist 4

Branch: US Army 1/27/55 to 10/26/56.

Military and Deployment History: Jan. 27, 1955, to Oct. 26, 1956.

  • Why did you join the military? I joined the Army before the Korean War GI bill ran out on Jan. 31, 1955, to ensure I could complete my education.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? The best advice I got was when I reported to the medical unit, those of us who were to get shots were required to face the wall around the perimeter of the room, drop our drawers, bend over, our butts were slapped and the shot immediately followed. If you failed to pull up your drawers quickly you were ADVISED to do so promptly or another shot would be given. I did a fast draw of my drawers, not wishing to double up.

Robert Wempe, Patient Access Representative, Patient Access Services

Rank: 1SG

Branch: Army

Military and Deployment History: Military — Ft Campbell; Ft Drum; Camp Howze; Ft Carson; Ft Leonard Wood; Deployment — Haiti; Kosovo; Afghanistan; South Korea; Iraq; Republic Of Georgia

  • Why did you join the military? I joined the military to serve my country and follow in my family’s footsteps.
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? I try to bring that attention to detail that the Army is so well known for into my everyday duty performance.
  • What is the best advice you received in the military? No matter what, always remember, the Army will always roll along, whether you are in it or not.
  • What does Veterans Day mean to you? It’s a day that I hold dear to my heart because of the friends I have lost or have had seriously wounded.

Rebecca Wolf, Medical Technologist, Lab

Rank: SPC E-4

Branch: Army

Military and Deployment History: Gulf War deployed to Saudi Arabia

  • Why did you join the military? Seemed like the best way to get a college education
  • How have you used your military experience at Lake Regional? It gives me a frame of reference as to how an operation should work.