My name is Stacey Kittle and I was a Chief Master Seargent in the Air Force from 1966–1999. Prior to joining the Air Force, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Through a lot of soul-searching, I found my passions in medicine, and I decided that I would put my skills to use in the military.
In the Air Force, I would fly patients to home base from the battlefield. I worked in Wolford Hall Hospital, as part of neurosurgery and intensive care. I spent 2 years on active duty in San Antonio, TX. Following shortly after, I spent two years at the Clark Air Base in the Phillippines.
Military life really suited me well.
When I operated in Vietnam, I saw a lot of combat (or the aftermath of it to be exact). I brought countless wounded patients back from Da Nang. I will never forget what it was like out there. I did not know what to expect, but seeing the horrendous scarring and bleeding would have made younger me sick to my stomach.
After getting off of active duty, I received my nurse's license. Passing my exams were a walk in the park after all the training my service gave me. Even now, I still implement this training as I work. A quote I live by is, "If you're not a good follower, you'll never be a good leader." If I could do it again, I would in a heartbeat, though I would likely try to apply to one of America's military academies first; the pay for enlisted soldiers was nowhere near high enough