FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Honoring the heroes that take care of our troops.
The U.S. Medical Department Activity at Fort Drum celebrated its nurses at a ceremony on May 12 in observance of National Nurse Week.
Fort Drum’s Deputy Commander for Nursing Major (P) Betty Moore led the ceremony and recognized the legacy Army nurses have left on the Fort Drum military installation.
“Nursing has been around on Fort Drum since World War II, whenever we were actually Camp Pine,” Major Moore said. “But right now we are a state-of-the-art facility and we are an outpatient facility where we have specialty clinics and primary care.”
This is housed at the Guthrie Medical Complex on post. Fort Drum MEDDAC provides a lengthy list of services, such as preventative medicine, physical therapy, pediatrics behavioral health and more.
Nurses work in all these clinics to take care of the over 30,000 beneficiaries, including active-duty soldiers, their families and veterans.
But according to Fort Drum MEDDAC Commander Colonel Matthew Mapes, nurses also help sustain the medical readiness of the force.
“We have nurses today helping soldiers get ready to deploy later this summer,” Col Mapes explained at the ceremony. “We’ve done that numerous times throughout the year to ensure that the soldiers are ready to deploy.”
A portion of Fort Drum’s nursing staff is comprised of active-duty soldiers, which widens their set of responsibilities.
“We have to be ready to deploy,” Major Moore explained. “So that means we have to be physically fit, mentally fit, all of our competencies, everything has to be ready to go at any time. We can get called in 24/7.”
But Major Moore added that all Army nurses, whether civilian employees or active duty soldiers deserve recognition.
“Nurses are at the forefront of everything we do,” she expressed. “We give immunizations, vital signs, in-processing, out-processing, medications, educations. So we all work together to make the mission happen.”
Fort Drum MEDDAC’s National Nurse Day Ceremony was held at the Guthrie Memorial Health Care Clinic.