By Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Dustin Zimmer
A few words from a hospital corpsman, reared as a Navy brat and a combat veteran with a Purple Heart.
Navy Medicine has taken me to eight different countries, three different combat zones, and two hospitals around the world. It has molded me into the man I am today.
I’m a native of Lemoore, California, and 2002 Lemoore High School grad. I currently serve as an advanced radiology technologist at Naval Hospital Bremerton.
I’m the eldest of two children and grew up a “Navy brat.” During my sophomore year I made the decision to enlist into the Navy after graduating. It was definitely the best decision I have ever made. I have always wanted to help and take care of others.
Shortly after graduating high school I left for boot camp at Recruit Training Center in Great lakes, Illinois. I then attended Hospital Corpsman “A” School with follow-on orders to Naval Hospital Lemoore. Before checking in to my new command I attended Field Medical Service School in Camp Pendleton, California.
I’ve been the leading petty officer of the family practice clinic at Naval Hospital Lemoore, lead radiology technician at First Medical Battalion, radiology technologist and leading petty officer of the medical department aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD-7) and radiology technologist with Fleet Surgical Team 9.
My most exciting assignment was as a medical augmentee to 1st Battalion 7th Marines . Deploying with them to Iraq in support of OIF 2. The best part of my career in Navy Medicine is deploying to fight alongside my brothers in arms.
My experience in Navy Medicine has been the adventure of a lifetime. It has allowed me to form friendships and bonds with others that will last a lifetime.
I’m fully committed to Navy Medicine’s priorities of Readiness, Value and Jointness. With regards to Readiness: I’ve sacrificed countless man hours, limitless knowledge, and expertise in my field to help support the mission at all cost.
To me Value, isn’t just about engaging in my duties. I’m committed to consistently devote 110 percent to giving patients and beneficiaries the care they deserve. I’m dedicated to furthering my knowledge in medicine and fine tuning my skills.
Jointness is working with others to effectively carryout the mission. From working alongside medical doctors in a field hospital in Iraq to caring for patients with nurses on an amphibious ship, each of us holds a specific role to provide the best quality of care. The positive experiences our patients received allow us to provide support to not only our service members, but to our families and veterans who serve and support all of us in turn.
As on every deployment, there’s also sacrifice and added commitment not only to the SG’s priorities, but also the Corpsmen Creed and Navy Core Values. Such was my experience when I deployed to Western Iraq near the Syrian border and I was wounded while on a military patrol in Jan. 2005.
I was with the 1st Battalion 7th Marines Alpha (Animal) Company serving in Al Qaim, Iraq. While riding on our main supply route the Humvee I was riding in suffered a devastating improvised explosive device attack. Crippled our vehicle that immediately caught fire. Three of us were wounded. I got shrapnel to my back and a facial laceration to my left eye. All were thankfully minor wounds.
May Name is Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Dustin Zimmer, I am Navy Medicine.