Veterans Day, Meet Desiree

Desiree Medrano, Director of Materials Management, US Army 2014 – 2018

In honor of Veterans Day this week, we are highlighting some of our veteran treasures – our staff! Welcome to this special edition of “Honoring FHW Veterans.”

Meet Desiree Medrano, Director of Materials Management

Desiree grew up in the Grand Valley, not venturing too far from home even after turning 18. She was focused on her passion for animals and was a vet tech for a short time after high school. Was she feeling restless? Hard to say exactly, but she opted to take a hard right turn in life and signed up for the military.

Circa 2014, took Desiree to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for Basic Training and then Fort Sam Houston, Texas – where she attended Advanced Individual Training and became a medical logistics specialist.

“I ended up loving logistics and supply,” she said, about her assigned MOS (Military Occupational Specialty or job assignment). Since the job was so different from biology classes and the animal career she initially saw herself exploring, she even surprised herself with her new passion for this job, at least initially. 

Desiree was the first one in her immediate family to join the military and the first female in her extended family. In talking with her, a sense of being a proud trailblazer comes through, she is kind and fearless. She supported the 8th Army in South Korea for one year. Spending a lot of time at the (firing) range, sleeping in tents, driving big trucks, and working in the USAMMC-K Army Medical Material Center (Logistics Command). 

“It was a lot of fun!” she said, smiling. 

She also arrived in South Korea dressed in her best uniform, after hours of airplane travel from the states, only to land and realize the Army didn’t have a sponsor to greet her on arrival. After two hours of aimless wandering around the airport, finding no one who would speak English to her, she spotted a fellow uniform. It was a U.S. Navy Lt. Col. and the relief was instant. She enthusiastically asked the Officer for help, found a military staging location, and then was able to take a bus two hours to the base. She laughs about it now. Those are the types of moments that build character, resilience, and maturity.

Desiree rose to the rank of an E-4, Specialist. In South Korea, she was attached to the 168th multifunctional medical battalion and her final station, in Virginia, was with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, aka The HHC at Fort Belvoir. 

At Fort Belvoir Community Hospital she was tasked to a special assignment and created the Centralized Crash Cart Program (C3P) an Administrative Instruction for Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (FBCH) and the De ‘Lorenzo Pentagon Health Center (DPHC). She was awarded the ‘Good Catch Award’ that was presented by the Sergeant Major of the Army, CSM Dailey. 

In 2018, Desiree was hoping for a few months of rest and relaxation after transitioning out of active duty service before finding a job. That wasn’t meant to be, she says, as soon as she saw the job posting for purchasing at FHW – she knew it was meant for her. A chance to settle back in the Grand Valley, to build a career, and continue doing what she learned and loved – medical supply purchasing.

She of course got the job and is now using her GI Bill to get a degree in Business Administration from Colorado Mesa University. She plans to graduate in December 2022. It goes without saying, Desiree is determined and focused.

What she does now isn’t direct patient care, she said, but she feels a sense of contribution to the hospital staff and patients. She’s proud of her work making sure everyone has the supplies they need to treat our patients, she said.

We are so proud Desiree found her way to Family Health West and thank you for your service!

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