Page 15 - Transormations Magazine 11-12

Transformations
13
Reid’s interests became evident at an early age.
When Reid was just a child of four, she matter-of-
factly informed her mother and father that she was
going to be a nurse. Reid’s father had served in the
Army during World War II, and she looked up to
him immensely. Hearing his stories as she grew
up fed her desire for service and sense of duty and
patriotism, refining Reid’s natural inclination to care
for others.
She went on to obtain a degree in nursing, however,
a slight twist of fate would bring that nagging desire
for a military career back to the center of Reid’s
attention.
While working in a hospital and about to graduate
as a nurse, Reid spoke by phone with a Navy
recruiter, who told her to call him back when she
had a degree in hand. A physician with whom she
worked overheard the conversation and shared
that he belonged to the Air National Guard. He
encouraged her to look into the military if she was
really interested, and the rest was history.
She entered the Air Guard as an officer due to her
status as a nurse. Unfortunately, there were no slots
available for officer training until nearly a year and
a half after she began her service. Many people
would have hesitated, but Reid jumped into the
new situation headfirst, seizing every opportunity
to learn that presented itself. When she finally got
her new rank, she was off to Texas for Officer’s
Training.
While she and her fellow officers were completing
a field training mission, a physician unexpectedly
informed Reid in the chaos of the drill, “You’re the
triage officer!” She had to think fast, deciding which
soldiers would theoretically live or die.
The triage coding system may seem brutal to
civilians: injured soldiers are assigned a color.
Red means that they are in need of immediate care,
yellow that they may be wounded quite seriously
but must wait for care, green that they have a minor
injury and will receive care last, and black that they
will not receive care at all because their wounds are
too severe to survive given the resources available.
Reid was understandably disturbed by this
experience, explaining, “You know, as nurses, we
were trained to do no harm. It shakes you a bit,” she
adds, “to think that we don’t have the resources to
save [a] life.” She came to understand that her role
was to help as many people as possible. “You’re not
doing harm. You’re doing the best for the most,” she
said.
Over the years, it would be difficult to gauge just
how much good Reid has done and for how many.
She would continue to serve in the Air Guard
through 1988, and continued her education, earning
a master’s degree in nursing, master’s and doctoral
degrees in counseling, and midwife certification.
In 1988 Reid transferred to the Air Force Reserve,
pursuing military service until 1993. During this
time, Reid was needed for full-time service at the
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base during Operation
Desert Storm. In fulfilling her duties, she went
above and beyond because of her caring nature and
pride in her work. “The beauty of the military... is
that they expect you to practice to the level of your
training,” she said. “I always felt like the people
who put their lives on the line deserve the best care
they can get.”
In 1994, Reid went on to practice as a midwife,
bringing her childhood passion for caring for babies
and mothers full-circle. Since 1999, she has been
on the full-time nursing faculty at IU Southeast.
Through that same gentle touch and inner strength,
Reid’s students are in good stead to find passage
through their most demanding and darkest hours of
service, to the fulfillment to be had in personal and
professional excellence for the sake of country and
humankind.
I always felt like
the people who put
their lives on the line
deserve the best care
they can get.”