In recognition of Veterans Day this week, we share stories of local veterans who give to our country and give to our patients. These stories are a reminder to us all of the sacrifices the armed forces make to protect our country, and for that, we offer our deepest gratitude.
Renown Health extends a heartfelt “thank you” to the more than 100 employees who are currently serving or have served in the military. The service and sacrifices they make to protect and defend our country are never forgotten. Thank you for your invaluable service.
Since 2008, we have seen 35 full-time, active duty deployments by Renown employees. As an organization, Renown is privileged to have so many veterans call our health system home. There’s no question: These men and women do incredible things for our country, community and patients.
Previously in BestMED, we’ve featured our own Dr. Ivan Lopez, who was deployed to Germany, Kuwait and Iraq since volunteering to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves in 2005; registered nurse Jennifer James, who has served in the Nevada Air National Guard for 12 years; and former Renown employees Kim Neiman, who retired as a Colonel after 30 years of active duty, reserves and guard service with the Air Force, and Chaplain Bob Stover, who stood in the rubble of Hiroshima at just 19 years old.
The list goes on and on.
Veterans Day Spotlight
This year in honor of Veterans Day, we’re taking a closer look at Roger Stevens – a Marine Corps veteran and employee with Renown revenue integrity for the last 15 years.
Roger is one of 51 northern Nevada Vietnam veterans who just returned from an honorary trip to Washington, D.C., with Honor Flight Nevada, a group that raises money and takes veterans to the nation’s capital to see the memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifices.
On the whirlwind tour, the veterans visited the Navy, Iwo Jima, World War II, Air Force, Korean War and Lincoln memorials.
For Roger, watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was particularly moving. “Standing on the hill and looking down at Arlington Cemetery and seeing all the crosses — it’s crosses for soldiers as far as you can see, thousands of them,” Roger recalls.
The reality hit even closer to home as the group heard four or five 21-gun salutes during their visit, each salute honoring another soldier laid to rest. “You hear the numbers all day long; but when you see the graves, it hits you.”
The Honor Flight veterans were honored to recognize these fallen soldiers – dedicating a wreath at the tomb.
The veterans were also honored in their own right. They received a grand send off as they flew out of Reno-Tahoe International Airport. While in Washington, they had police escorts to help guide them from each monument, and both Senator Harry Reid’s office and the Secretary of the Veterans Administration presented them with challenge coins. The veterans also received a heartwarming welcome home with homemade thank you quilts from local crafters.
We asked Roger what Veterans Day means to him now, 30 years after his service as a Staff Sergeant, and his answer is the answer you’ll hear from so many selfless veterans: “It shows the sacrifices people have made in the past to live the lives we have today; a reminder that things could be very much different.”
And a good reminder of the men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line every day.
Learn about Renown Health’s award-winning, proactive measures to recruit and retain veteran employees at the link directly below.