June, 25, 2012

Reflections on the Nursing Profession and on Serving in the Military

Nursing Professor Kent Blad poses outside the 144th Evacuation Hospital during Operation Deseret Storm.

My personal life and professional career is defined by many events and memories. At the top of those defining items are my service in the military and my service in the nursing profession. Fortunately, those two items go hand-in-hand as I spent ten years in the military, most of it in the Army Nurse Corps.

Even though my military days, especially the ones spent away from home in Operation Desert Storm were some of the most difficult in my life, they were also some of the times that the Lord’s blessings were poured upon my head and my family the most. I gained a whole new appreciation for serving one’s country and the patriotic devotion that comes from that.

I grew up in a home with a father who had dedicated three years of his life to World War II and a mother who had dedicated those years to the war cause, raising three children and enduring all the sacrifices that accompanied that. My wife held our family together without a father in the home for a period of time also.

As a result of these experiences, I have gained a deep love and respect for many things that reflect the freedoms we enjoy, such as the flag, service members in uniform, Veterans, military families, and so on. The Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. has a plaque that states, “freedom is not free.” That quote has been engrained in my mind with many events in my life. I have a deep love and respect for those who have given their lives, or who were willing to give their lives, for our freedom.

My service in the nursing profession has also given me a wholesome respect for serving others. Nursing is a profession where I get to serve my fellow men and women. It has been an honor to take part in the health and healing of many individuals and families over the years. I have witnessed miracles and many tender mercies of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, the Master Healer.

For me, I feel no greater satisfaction could come through any other profession. It has not always been an easy ride, but it has certainly one that has been personally rewarding and satisfying. It has been an honor to serve my country and my fellow human beings. I pray that the Lord will continue to bless my life with these wonderful opportunities.

Written by Kent Blad, Nursing Professor