HISTORIAN - JOANNE HIRST
Raised in Albany, NY, the Bronx, and Fort Lee, NJ, I decided to raise a family before going to college or joining the Military… When those plans fell through after only nineteen months of marriage, she took her young son a moved back to the Albany area. Eventually joining the USAR. With their assistance, she was able to graduate from Junior College of Albany with an AAS in Nursing, the State University of New York of Technology in Utica with a BS in Nursing, and the State University of New York Institute of Technology with an MSN as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. Worked mainly, on Med Surg floors and Home Health Care while going to school, before becoming an Adult Nurse Practitioner. I met Charlie, while in the USAR. We each had a son and blended our families on 26 March 1978. We enjoyed traveling, baseball, little league, and car racing. Charlie passed away on 13 December 2018.
I joined the United States Army Reserves, in July 1975 in the 364th General Hospital. A 1000-bed hospital. In Albany, NY. I was in and out of that same unit as I served on Active Duty. In1998, I deployed to Honduras and in 1999 and 2003 I went to Guatemala for Humanitarian Missions. We served 1400 civilians a day seeking Medical and Dental care. From February 2004 until April 2005, I was deployed to Wuerzburg, Germany. We were in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was the Chief Nurse of the Medical Clinics.
We were caring for the wounded soldiers from downrange. From Dec 2007, until March 2011 I was again deployed, to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Wounded Warrior Brigade. I was a Nurse Case Manager, in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom. At this point, I was diagnosed with a mass on my neck that was pressing on my spine, causing neurological discomfort to my right arm. I later found out it is inoperable. Unfortunately, when we moved to Florida, my stepson became very upset with his father and never spoke with him again, and neither did his daughters. We never got to see the great-grandson from that side of the family. I have my son and his family. A grandson and his wife are expecting their second child, a girl, Ivy. Their son, Ivan just turned three. A granddaughter and her significant other are expecting their first son, Charlie. Her three stepsons Austin and Hunter 10 and Tristen 13 are all excited.
A granddaughter who just came home from Basic and AIT is in the Army National Guard, is an EMT and rides an Ambulance out of Schenectady, NY, and is the happiest girl in the world. She has an almost niece, nephews and she is an EMT and rides an ambulance full time. Exactly what anyone could want! Oh, and she is in the Army and when the next paramedic class comes up, they will send her for that also. Plus, all that and they pay her. Give the girl an ice cream cone! Charlie moved to Florida in 2010 and I moved in 2011 after I was honorably discharged. I received the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Service Medal X2 and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achieved Inductee.
I am not only active in the FVN as the Historian, but I am also active in several Republican clubs and as Treasurer in the Conservative Club in Citrus County. I am involved with several women who knit and crochet hats, shawls, lap blankets, and headbands for the homeless in the county. I plan on being a guardian for the FVN President this June 2022 Honor Flight. I have participated in Veteran in the Classroom for several years, presenting to high school-age kiddos about my time in the Army. Two years ago, they sent out letters requesting Retiree Recalls to nurses to work due to COVID-19. I told my girlfriend that I was going to do it. She yelled at me, saying, absolutely not! YOU HAVE HAD CANCER! THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN DO THAT! IF YOU GET COVID YOU MIGHT DIE. I love the Army! I wasn’t even thinking about myself! I just wanted to help!
Obviously, I didn’t go, but she did! Just remember to smile
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