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Honoring our Veterans – Thank You

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbird Aerial Demonstration Team?s F-16 Fighting Falcons fly over the base flag pole during their demonstration in the Desert Air Show at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 21, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tracie Forte/Released)

What is a “Veteran”? A “Veteran”- whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve- is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount “up to, and including his life.” That is honor.

The Nurse Alliance of Pennsylvania and SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania would like to extend our gratitude to the veterans who raised their hand to serve our great country. Thank you so much for what you have done and continue to do. Thank you for stepping forward when others step back.

Our thanks is to all, even those we do not know all by name. We have been able to identify a few veterans among our nurse member but we know there are more out there. We are fortunate to be able to share the stories of some of our members who have served. For those who are not listed here we would still like to thank you. Please contact Deb Bonn at 814-381-6693 or


Cindy Shuma RN, UPMC Altoona
U.S. Air Force, 5 years | Captain, Nurse

“Part of my active duty service while in serving in the reserves was Military Funeral Honors. This assignment taught me that how to be in charge of people and get them to work with you, not necessarily for you. It taught me how meaningful it was to pay it forward by respecting those who served before you and sending them off with honor and how supportive it was to the family.”

Ashley_Fraker2_200pxAshley Fraker RN, Fulton County Medical Center
U.S. Army Reserve, 5 years and still serving  | Sergeant E-5, Military Police Officer   |   Stationed at Letterkenny Army Depot. Served in Cumberland, MD. Deployed to Afghanistan (2011-2012)

“Joining the army made me go from a young out of control girl to a mature woman. It made me grow up and realize what is important in this world to me; my family because without them I would not have made it and my best friends who are more like family.”

Phil Dale RN, Geisinger Wyoming Valley

U.S. Air Force, 3 years  |  Captain, Nurse  |  Stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, Washington DC and served at Malcom Grow Medical Center. Trained in air evacuation and transportation of patients

George OGorman_200pxGeorge O’Gorman RN, DHS- Youth Forestry Camp 2
Army National Guard, 6 years  | Corporal E-4, 91A Combat Medic   |  Stationed at Headquarters Company, Scranton, PA

“Upon entry to the Army National Guard, my intent was obtaining financial aid for college, while serving I internalized the true understanding of patriotism. I will forever be grateful for the training and personal development I attained, and having had the privilege of serving our great country. Words cannot accurately describe the bond between those of us who understand what it means to be a veteran. I am blessed to be among those, and forever extend my admiration and gratitude for those who continue this duty, to keep our country free.”


Kathleen.Stayman.2_200pxKathleen Stayman RN, DOH- South Central District Office

U.S. Navy- 32 years (Retired in 2015)   |   Captain, Nurse Corp   |   Stationed at Philadelphia Naval Hospital (PA), Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune (NC), Navy Fleet Hospital, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (VA), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (MD), Naval Hospital Jacksonville (FL). Deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm (1991) and Afghanistan (2011-2012)

“I entered the Navy as a shy Ensign and retired as a confident Captain. The reward was caring for sailors and marines and passing baton to the younger generation. It has been an honor to serve, however I could not have been successful if it was not for family. Thank you for honoring veterans.”

Edward Loscar RN, DHS- Ebensburg State Center
U.S. Army- 30 years (21 years active, 9 years reserve)   |   CW4, Chief Warrant Officer 4, AH-64A Apache Helicopter Pilot and Battalion and Task Force Safety Officer   |  Stationed at Indiana (PA), Ft Rucker (AL), Edwards Air Force Base (CA), Ft Irwin (CA), Camp Stanley (Korea). Deployed to Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel KFOR 6B (2004-2006)    |   Awards: Meritorious Service Medal 1), Army Commendation Medal (6), Kosovo Campaign Ribbon (1), Outstanding Volunteer Award (1), Army Service Ribbon (1), Good Conduct Medal (1), Global War on Terrorism Ribbon (1) Senior Aviator Badge

“I served with some of the finest men and women in the world and am proud to call them my brothers and sisters. Friendships that were created so many years ago are still strong and meaningful today. The skills that I learned and the experiences I gained throughout my career are now permanently part of me. My service has allowed me to see much of this great country that we live and has taken me to places outside our boarders where I learned to appreciate the freedoms I that took an oath to defend. My family have experienced the joys and heartache of military service. I loved being a defender of country, our freedoms and way of life. If I have any regrets, it would be, not serving a combat tour. My regrets are not because I did not get to pull the trigger, but because I was not there with my brothers and sisters help share the weight of the burden placed upon them in a combat zone. If asked to once again put the uniform back on, I would do so without reservation for I know God will continue to watch over my family and me. I can honestly say I love serving in the U.S. Army.”


Charlotte.Swerdon.navypic_200pxCharlotte Swerdon RN, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
U.S. Navy- 4 years    |   Petty Officer Second Class E-5, Operations Specialist    |   Stationed on the USS Hopper and the USS Frederick based at Pearl Harbor (HI). Did a 6 month tour in South East Asia working with the military forces of other countries

“The first ship I served on was still under construction when I took orders to it. When the ship was complete we sailed from there to California where we were commissioned. After the commissioning we then sailed to our home port of Pearl Harbor. Being a part of a ships birth into the Navy fleet was truly amazing. Life aboard ship was challenging with long hours and small spaces but I truly enjoyed traveling, experiencing the different cultures and giving back to my country.”


Nicole Shaffer RN, Chambersburg Hospital
U.S. Army- 2 years active, 6 years reserve   |   Specialist E-4, 91 Bravo Medic   |   Stationed in Mannheim, Germany during Desert Storm

Matt Hyde.mil_200pxMatt Hyde RN, DHS- Youth Forestry Camp 2
U.S. Army- 7 years   |  Specialist E-4, Automated Logistics Specialist   |  Stationed at Kaiserslautern (Germany), Fort Drum (NY), Pirmasens (Germany), Giebelstadt (Germany).

“I was able to go to many different places, meet people from all over the world, and experience things that I never otherwise would have. For instance, I was assigned to Germany as the Berlin Wall was coming down, What I am most thankful for about my service is that it brought my grandfather and I closer. He was a WWII veteran who served in the pacific theater and was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. He did not talk about his military experiences with those who did not serve, because he did not believe they would understand, but he began to talk about them to me before his death.”


June Clawson.mil1_200pxJune Clawson RN, Chambersburg Hospital
U.S. Army- 6 years   |   Specialist E-4, 91S Preventive Medicine Specialist    |    Stationed at Bad Kreuznach (Germany 1991-1992), Dexheim (Germany 1992-1993), Ft. Benning (GA 1993-1997)   |   Awards: Army Commendation Medal, Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB), Army Achievement Medals (4)

“My time spent in the United States Armed Forces gave me a sense of pride not only for myself, but for this great nation we call the United States of America. The military has instilled in me a strong work ethic that has carried forth into my career as a nurse. I have come to understand that with hard work and dedication anything is possible.”


Elizabeth Robinson RN, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
U.S. Navy- 4.5 Years   |  OS2 E-5, Operations Specialist    |    Stationed at Denver (CO), Point Loma (CA)    |   Awards: Good Conduct Medal

“I am the fourth generation of my family to serve in the US Navy and was honored to be able to serve my country in a time of conflict. I not only learned so much while in the military, I met some wonderful people including my husband of 23 years. I am proud to be a veteran.”


Robin LaRobin.Lafferty_200pxfferty RN, DHS- Norristown State Hospital
U.S. Air Force- 3 years   |    Airman First Class E-3, Computer Data Entry    |   Stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque (NM)    |   Awards: Honor Guard

“Thank you so much for including me in recognizing nurse veterans. I joined the military because most of my family were career military members. While in the service I learned the importance of team work and discipline and the ability to work through a problem and resolve it as a team. While in the Air Force I served as an honor guard member. I wanted to be a part of respecting military members who gave their life to defend this country and to give them the dignified service at the end of their lives as they deserve.”


Arie.VanKuyk.mil_200pxArie VanKuyk RN, Geisinger Valley Medical Center
PA Army National Guard- 14 years   |   Staff Sergeant E-6, 11B Infantry    |   Deployed to Ramadi (Iraq 2005-2006), Taji (Iraq 2008-2009), Kuwait (2012-2013)

“14 years ago it was a different world and I was a different person. Today, I am who I am because of the service and due to the support my wife and family have given me.”


NormNorma Clawson.Cherry. mil_200pxa Clawson-Cherry RN, Chambersburg Hospital
U.S. Army- 3 years   |  Sergeant E-5, 91C   |   Entered through Stripes for Skills program. Stationed at Ft. Dix (NJ), Ft Sam Houston (TX), Letterman Army Medical Center (San Francisco, CA)

“I am proud to have served in the United States Army. The Army taught me many things, especially about working together for the common good of everyone. I felt called to be a Nurse from a young age and was influenced by my father, to join the service. I am so glad I joined the Army; I learned many things that I would not have learned being a civilian nurse.”


Ruthann Murphy RN, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
U.S. Air Force    |    PA Air National Guard   |   Lt Col, 46NE Critical Care Nurse    |   Stationed at 932nd ROCC (Iceland), McChord AFB (WA), Germany, Qatar, Mauritania (Africa)

“My military career helped solidify the hard work ethic instilled by my parents and family. I started my military career as an enlisted member (E-1) the hard work and dedication allowed me to get my commission and join the Officer Corp. It means a tremendous amount to me to serve my country and give back to our great nation.”

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