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Brian Chavez






Brian Chavez

Sergeant, U.S. Army
Bachelor of Science Nursing, Arizona Mesa College


Having a strong urge to serve his country, Brian wanted to do his part to help keep the USA (United States) what it is and enlisted in the US Army. He hoped that serving as a medic would help him gain valuable medical skills that he could later apply to a future nursing career. Brian completed one year-long deployment to Afghanistan which resulted in a diagnosis of PTS due to the experiences he witnessed as a medic. Taking care of multiple traumatic injuries of his fellow soldiers, friendly Afghan forces and even some enemy combatants took its toll on his mental health. In addition he experienced multiple muscle-skeletal injuries from the physical stresses of deployment and living in an austere environment.

 

Brian’s transition out of the military was not an easy adjustment and was extremely tough as he navigated the civilian world and ultimately a divorce. Eventually, Brian learned to control and accept what happened and made the decision to create goals he could pursue and keep his mind busy. He learned he could overcome anything and that though times get tough, with faith and hard work he can be successful.

 

While pursuing his bachelor’s degree in nursing from Arizona Mesa College, Brian learned about Sentinels of Freedom and applied for support while completing his final year of studies. At this point he had exhausted his GI Bill benefits and was unsure if he would even be able to finish he studies after coming so far. SOF supported Brian with a monthly housing subsidy, assisted him with his state licensing exam fees, and provided a graduation grant to assist with the transition to full-time employment. Following the successful passing of the NCLEX Brian was hired at Phoenix Children’s hospital where he worked in the Emergency Department until the COVID-19 outbreak. With the sudden need of nurses, Brian traveled to NYC to help with the pandemic.

 

“I would like to start off by saying thank you so much for this extremely needed opportunity. I could not have finished my schooling without it. My Post 911 GI bill fell short of me completing my BSN nursing program. SOF stepped in and helped me not only financially but also through mentorship and being able to get connected with other veterans in my position. This was very important during the stressful time of not knowing how I was going to be able to complete my degree. I graduated on the honor roll and I have already received a formal job offer from Phoenix Children’s Hospital in the Emergency Dept.”