NHB Navy Nurses honor retirees and share legacy for 104th Nurse Corps birthday

Story Number: NNS120518-01Release Date: 5/18/2012 7:22:00 AM
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By Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Members of Naval Hospital Bremerton's Navy Nurse Corps made a special house-call to Washington Veterans Home in Retsil May 10 to support their own as part of National Nurses Week and the Navy Nurse Corps 104th birthday.

"We originally wanted to invite some of the retired residents to come and join us on Friday morning to take part in our Nurse Corps recognition ceremony but that just wasn't practical. So we decided to come to them," said Cmdr. Christine Ward, of NHB's Pediatrics Department.

The trip to Retsil was part of a weeklong string of events to showcase and appreciate National Nurse Week and Navy Nurse Corps staff members. Volunteers from NHB also shared quality time and dinner the night before with the Retsil residents, including Grace Davis, retired Navy nurse who celebrated her own 100th birthday last September with NHB Nurse Corps members in attendance.

"We're honored to have the Navy nurses here in our facility. We're all proud to work here at our Washington Veterans Home for those who have served and helped give us our freedom. Having the Navy Nurses from Naval Hospital here to remember their own is very special and means a lot to all of us," said Don Veverka, Washington Veterans Home Retsil superintendent and administrator.

"Putting this Retsil event together was a team effort for us. We sat down back in the fall to plan for National Nurses Week and our Nurse Corps birthday. Capt. Boehnke (NHB director of Nursing Services) said to make sure we included our retired nurses, which of course we did. It means a lot to share time with Grace and the others," said Ward.

Davis joined the Navy in 1943 during World War II and served 21 years, retiring in 1964 as a lieutenant commander. Her duty stations included Brooklyn, Lido Beach Long Island, San Diego, Eagle Mt. Lake Texas, Aiea Heights Hawaii, and Japan. Davis also has direct ties to NHB - she was assigned in the early 1960s Naval Hospital Bremerton's outpatient clinic.

The Retsil Veterans Home has been located in Port Orchard on 31 acres overlooking the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard since 1910 and provides skilled nursing care to approximately 350 residents and retired veterans from all branches of the service.

There are now more than 4,000 active duty and activated Reservists in such fields as critical care, pediatrics, flight, emergency room, clinical, family practice and trauma care.

"Happy birthday to the Navy Nurse Corps," said Capt. Christopher Culp, NHB commanding officer. "Navy nurses have an exemplary tradition of quality, service, dedication and compassion. We would never stand a watch or charge a hill without you at our sides."

"To all of our military, retired, civilian, contractor and Red Cross volunteer nurses on our staff, we couldn't do what we do without you. You are all talented and caring professionals. It is a true honor to work with you," said Capt. Iris Boehnke, NHB director of Nursing Services.

Letters from the admiral of the Medical Service Corps, the chief of the Dental Corps, the Medical Corps, and the force master chief of the Submarine/Surface Warfare Fleet Marine Force were shared, along with the Navy surgeon general's Nurse Corps birthday message.

"As the Navy Nurse Corps celebrates its 104th year of service, I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to you on behalf of Navy Medicine and a grateful nation. Since 1908, the men and women of the Navy Nurse Corps have honorably served in times of peace and war, at home, abroad and on the front lines. Selflessly deploying around the world and serving in harm's way, Navy nurses continue to provide compassionate health care that sets the world's standards. Navy nurses are integral to our force health protection mission, ensuring warrior readiness and wellness are at the top of our operational objective," sent Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, Navy surgeon general.

For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.

For more news from Naval Hospital Bremerton, visit www.navy.mil/local/nhb/.

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