Unlikely reunion between military veteran and USF nursing student highlighted in Tampa Tribune article
An unlikely reunion between a wounded warrior and a former Air Force medic at the “Boots on the Homefront: Introduction to Military to Military & Veteran Health Issues” event at the University of South Florida College of Nursing, was the focus of a Tampa Tribune article.
The article written by Tampa Tribune’s Staff Writer, Howard Altman, highlighted the emotional reunion of wounded warrior, MSgt. Christian “Mack” Mackenzie, and USF College of Nursing student, Andrew Armstrong, at the USF Nursing’s event on April 15, 2013.MSgt Christian “Mack” Mackenzie and USF Nursing student, Andrew Armstrong, reunite after the USF Nursing “Boots on the Homefront: Introduction to Military to Military & Veteran Health Issues” event
Armstrong, who was in the Air Force as a medic serving with MacDill Air Force Base’s 6th Medical Group at Balad, recognized Mackenzie while he was speaking at the USF Nursing event about his poly traumatic injury when serving in Iraq. During his speech, Mackenzie spoke about his experience as a wounded warrior and the military nurses who cared for him.
“…Armstrong thought MacKenzie looked familiar, but didn’t know why,” Armstrong said in the article. “He is the first patient I have been able to talk with after deployment. It was a special treat for me to be able to lay eyes on one of these guys and see they are doing well and functioning in society. It was very gratifying.”
Mackenzie was happy to meet the nurse who cared for him too. “It sent a chill down my spine,” he said in the article. “I had no idea he was in the audience and I never had the opportunity to meet or say thank you to the individuals who were at Balad when I was there. The fact that he was in the room was amazing.”
USF College of Nursing Military Liaison, Instructor and Coordinator, Graduate Simulation, Alicia Rossiter, MSN, ARNP, FNP, PNP-BC, witnessed the reunion firsthand, and she said it was touching to see them reunite at our conference.
“Having cared for critically wounded warriors during the Gulf War, I know that there are patients that I still think about today and wonder where they are and how they are doing–there are just some patients you never forget,” Rossiter said. “There is no greater moment than to find out that someone you cared for, someone so critically wounded, is telling his story…just amazing!”
To read Howard Altman’s full article visit Tampa Tribune’s website at “Warrior wounded in Iraq has unlikely reunion.”
To read the USF College of Nursing’s story on the “Boots on the Homefront: Introduction to Military to Military & Veteran Health Issues” event and their special reunion click here.