To Honor Those Who Serve
Angel MedFlight is proud to honor Veterans and active military service members for their commitment to ensure the safety and protect the freedom of all Americans. On this meaningful day, we would like to introduce five veterans on the Angel MedFlight team.
Brett Murphy, Developer – IT Department
Brett Murphy served as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1993-1997. He served as airframes/hydraulics mechanic on CH-53e Super Stallion helicopters and was stationed at MCAS Tustin (now closed) as a member of HMH-361.
He deployed October 1994 on the maiden voyage of the USS Essex (LHD-2) and performed numerous multinational training exercises. In addition, the USS Essex was called upon to help with the final UN withdrawal from Somalia, called Operation United Shield. He returned to Tustin in April of 1995. Brett completed in his service in 1997.
He advises active service members to embrace the programs provided for them and to take advantage of the opportunities for training, education, and travel.
Chaleece Caldwell RN, CFRN Critical Care Flight Nurse
Chaleece Caldwell is a U.S. Army veteran from a family with a proud history of service. Her military legacy includes five brothers, her husband and two children.
Chaleece served as a combat medic in the U.S. Army for two years. Her husband served 13 years in the U.S. Air Force followed by 27 years in the U.S. Army. Her son served nine years in the U.S. Air Force and is currently in his third year of active duty in the U.S. Army. Chaleece’s daughter served six in the U.S. Navy.
Following her honorable discharge, Chaleece used the G.I. Bill to attend nursing school. She has provided compassionate patient care as a flight nurse for 25 years.
Jennifer Peterson RN, Flight Coordinator
Jennifer Peterson served as nurse in the U.S. Air Force for 14.5 years. For the first six years, Jennifer served as an enlisted member and then joined the officer’s ranks, finishing her service as a Captain. She found personal and professional fulfillment working with other service members who shared a united sense of purpose and commitment to something bigger than themselves. She appreciated the teamwork approach and valued the collaborative environment. Happy to be in uniform, Jennifer was always proud to represent the United States of America.
Last year on Veterans Day, Jennifer’s husband and children picked her up at Angel MedFlight for a surprise lunch celebration. This year Veterans Day will be extra special for her family. After 21 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, her husband recently retired as a F16 pilot. 2015 will mark the first year he will celebrate as a Veteran rather than an Active Duty service member.
Jennifer would like to thank all service members for their selfless commitment, and the sacrifices that they along with their families make for their service to their fellow Americans.
Patrick Powers BSN, RN, CCRN, Critical Care Flight Nurse
Patrick Powers joined the U.S. Army in 2003 and served as a Healthcare Specialist (EMT/LPN) for eight years. By the time he was honorably discharged in 2011, he had served a tour in Iraq and had risen to the rank of Sergeant.
Patrick’s tour in Iraq was professionally very rewarding. It was his first experience working in an Intensive Care Unit. In addition to treating service members, he had an opportunity to care for local pediatric patients as young as 9 years old. He even used his skills to treat Benny, a military working dog.
For the first time, Patrick is taking Veterans Day off of work to share it with his family in a meaningful way.
Tom Cornatzer, RN, Critical Care Flight Nurse
Tom Cornatzer served 35 years in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Air Force Reserve including multiple tours of duty. An enlisted member for the first seven years, Tom later served 28 years as an officer, retiring with the rank of Lt. Colonel. Tom was proud to represent the values and beliefs of our country and protect freedom for others. He considers his service the highlight of his life.
Tom served in four Operations including:
- Desert Storm (Kuwait) – 1991
- Operation Provide Hope – 1995
- Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) – 2003
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) – 2004, 2006, 2009
With his extensive experience, he offers active service members valuable advice and words of encouragement:
Never forget your family; they are there while you serve. There are hardships that come with service, but there are rewards as well. Focus on the rewards of your service. Take pride in being part of a team to accomplish the mission. Serve with a purpose. Obey those who are your superiors and start out every day ready to complete your assigned job.
This Veterans Day, Tom plans to dedicate time to thinking about those who are serving for our country, especially service members in harm’s way.
Angel MedFlight Honors All Veterans
Angel MedFlight also recognizes and thanks our Critical Care Flight Paramedic John Whitehead, a U.S. Army veteran, and four other Angel MedFlight team members for their proud service to our country.
The entire Angel MedFlight staff offers its sincere gratitude to all U.S. military service members past and present for their courageous commitment to protect the United States and the freedoms that we hold so dear. Happy Veterans Day!