2023 $5,000 Education Award Winner – Daniel Reyes from Nashville, TN
Daniel Reyes, RN
Daniel grew up in LA and is currently in his 1st year, 3rd semester, in a 2-year Acute Care NP program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. When he has time, he enjoys Nashville and the music scene.
In high school, Daniel was in a medical magnet program and knew his interest was in medicine, but he wasn’t sure of his direction. Upon graduation, Daniel felt college was unattainable due to finances. He is the oldest of 3 so it would be tough on the family financially.
He knew 2 people who were in the Military, his cousin who was a Marine, and a professor of his who was a Navy Corpsman, so he became interested in the Military. He felt the structure and discipline would help him deal with the rigors of medicine. Daniel joined the Navy as Hospital Corpsman in 2006. The training of Hospital Corpsman has its roots in 2 fundamental training programs based on whether the trainee will be assigned to a Navy (blue-side) or Marine Corps (green-side) unit.
Right after his Hospital Corps training, Daniel was sent to 3rd Battalion/ 10th Marines, an Artillery Battalion based out of Camp Lejeune, NC. For the 7 years he was in the Navy, he stayed green-side with the Marines. He was deployed to Iraq from 2007-2008 and was tasked with doing routine patrols at the port of entries between Iraq and Syria and Iraq and Jordan. During a quick response call, Daniel recalls triaging Syrian refugee patients and called in a medivac for burn victims. Between 2009-2010, he was deployed to Afghanistan where he did logistics work behind the scenes coordinating medical evacuations throughout the region. Daniel was also stationed at Quantico, Camp Pendleton, and Naval Station Pearl Harbor. Overall, he says it was a positive experience where he gained valuable experience as well as leadership and management skills. He said he “considers himself fortunate and feels lucky to have the experience”.