Posted 10 months ago
By Kevin Horn
Air National Guard veteran Samantha Fullmer (center) is shown holding her Hometown Hero Salute plaque, presented by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Area Chairman Randy Langemeier (at right). Also present was BBGH CEO Dan Griess and several family members.
It’s Veterans Day, where a nation honors its warriors for the service they provide during times of peace and times of war. One of those veterans was recently honored for her service in the Air National Guard and stands as an exemplary example of the men and women who serve their country.
Box Butte General Hospital employee Samantha “Sam” Fullmer, RN, was recently presented “An American Airman Legacy of Valor Hometown Heroes Salute” for her 12 years of service in the Wyoming Air National Guard.
The Hometown Heroes Salute was presented at BBGH by Randy Langemeier, who has long served as Area Chairman of the Nebraska Committee Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Attending the presentation was BBGH CEO Dan Griess and several proud family members.
The plaque reads, in part, “Wherever freedom is threatened and liberty attacked, whenever there is a threat to our way of life, the American way of life, you are there, ever faithful, steadfast and ready to defend. Whether in times of peace or conflict, no matter how great or small the task, there you will most assuredly stand, never faltering, never failing. On behalf of a grateful nation, we salute you, your family and your employer. Signed by Richard A. Smith, Chief Master Sergeant, USAF, Command Chief Master Sergeant, Air National Guard and Craig R. McKinley, General, USAF, Chief, National Guard Bureau.”
Mr. Langemeier said this is the first such award he has presented. “This is a great honor and very deserving of Sam,” he said. “Those who serve in the military have an excellent skillset that transfers over to their place of employment. They know how to be on time, how to take orders, respect authority, are team players; and accomplish the tasks on hand. Those are all skills that are hard to teach. When working for a large organization, a person can have academic skillsets, which are important; but a veteran brings with them all those other teamwork attributes that are so important to an organization’s success.”
“I can attest to that,” commented Mr. Griess. “All of our veterans here at the hospital exhibit those traits, and Sam here is a wonderful example of that.”
Ms. Fullmer was Master Sergeant (TSgt), serving as a Medical Technician. Medical Technician duties include direct patient care, triage, multi-casualty treatment; chemical warfare training and combat readiness. Ms. Fullmer was sent to Balad, Iraq, a major combat center for Iraqi Freedom, in 2007, serving there for three months. “Casualties were flown to Balad from all over Iraq,” she said. “We would stabilize them and fly them on to Germany. I gained so much from that experience, seeing how well all the branches of the military worked together. The collaboration was amazing. I had and have such gratitude for all the servicemen on the ground and in combat because of those months. They give so much.”
She said most of the casualties treated at Balad were gun shot and IED wounds. “The military really used us (Air National Guard members) as transition teams between active duty rotations,” she said. “They utilize the Guards to help with training and the transition between active duty units. The active duty group before us had been there for at least six months and they were getting ready to go home. So they brought us in to train and learn our jobs, then we trained the next active duty unit before we came home.”
She said it was a pleasure to receive the recognition. “I thought I had received everything you usually are presented after a tour of duty,” she said. “They did a similar Hometown Tribute in Cheyenne when we got home, so receiving this now was a very pleasant surprise.”
Ms. Fullmer joined the Air National Guard to help pay for college. “Dr. Glassburner, who used to be an optometrist here in Alliance and served in the Air National Guard, encouraged me to join, so I researched it and decided to sign up. I also wanted to travel,” she added, “and was able to do so, being sent to Guatemala and various parts of the country for flood relief and other duty as needed.”
She and her husband Brent have a 4-month old daughter, Lauren. Brent is employed by WESTCO. Samantha has been employed at BBGH since March of 2012, joining her mother, Toni Girard, RRT, and several other relatives employed at BBGH.
BBGH salutes it’s family members who have served in the United States Military:
Ben Andrick, Darlene Boots, Dana Dowler, and Stephen VanNoy, in the Army:
Annie Peterson, Army Reserve
Larry Ring and Sheila Roberts in the Army National Guard
Roland Cavazos, Catherine McKee, Donna Ryan, Larry Steele, and Dr. Victor Fattig in the Air Force
Dr. Mark Chu and Samantha Fullmer – Air National Guard
Nanita Faber – Philippine Army
Lonnie Grant – Navy, Navy Reserve
and Dr. Cork Taylor – Marine Corps
Box Butte General Hospital – Where great people make things happen.