Each year, Veterans Day affords the opportunity to recognize veterans for their service to our country. At Baylor, we thank the many veterans who are part of our community not only for their contributions to the nation, but also to our institution.
This includes Alicia Casey, a registered nurse in cardiology and veteran of the U.S. Army, where she served four years active duty and two years reserve duty at Fort Carson in Colorado and Oakland Army Base.
Casey trained as combat medic/medical specialist – 91 Bravo in Army lingo – learning emergency medical care, patient care and skills in instruction and training. This prepared her well for her civilian career as a nurse. The GI bill allowed her to attend nursing school in California, graduating debt free.
She joined Baylor’s cardiology team in 2019 after previously working as an emergency room nurse.
Her commitment to country continued a proud history of military service in her family. Her Native American maternal grandfather grew up on the Wisconsin reservation of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians. After migrating to California by freight hopping during the Depression, he was drafted during WWII, working as an engineer on the Manhattan Project. Her father, an African American, was drafted for service in Vietnam.
“As children, my siblings and I were always taught to believe that protecting our family, country and way of life was very important,” she said. “Our Native American culture and beliefs correspond with the military values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor and integrity.” They also overlap with Baylor’s values of Respect, Integrity, Innovation, Teamwork and Excellence.
Before the pandemic, her family would meet cousins and other members of their community for the annual Pow Wow honoring veterans where the ceremony included placing an eagle feather in her grandfather’s honor.
She said that a military career provides life-changing skills that can help mold one’s future. As for nursing, she said it’s the best career choice a person could make.
“Nurses are usually in high demand, and are the backbone of patient care,” she said. “We are the patient advocate. It’s a very rewarding profession with so many different facets. I can’t imagine doing anything else!”
Watch the video below to hear from veterans at Baylor who are now providing important patient care to other vets.