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09/25/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/25/2019 13:14

WAVES Corps veteran visits U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- A WAVES Corps veteran visited U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay for a tour Sept. 12. Camy Roach served as a corpsman from 1964-1967 during the Vietnam War, and because of her personal experience, she explained, Navy hospitals are closest to her heart.

'When the opportunity to visit this hospital was presented, I was thrilled,' Roach said. 'Because not only is this a Navy hospital, but it is the one taking care of my son right now.' Her son, Lt. Cdr. David Roach, operations officer, is currently at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

Roach was excited to find during the tour most junior corpsmen were given opportunities to get hands on experience normally reserved for more experienced staff.

'I think it is wonderful that you are allowing corpsmen opportunities to test their knowledge in areas not usually afforded to a junior member,' Roach said.

Lt. Mark Debano, optometrist, USNH GB explained how he challenges corpsmen to think critically about each patient during the screening process and to try arriving at a diagnosis and possible treatment plan based on their chief complaint and history. He said the exam, final diagnosis and treatment comes from him, but allowing corpsmen the opportunity to be involved is a great teaching tool.

'It is exciting to see junior corpsmen provide a correct diagnosis and suggest the best plan in real life situations,' Debano said.

As Roach visited various areas of the hospital, corpsmen expressed excitement in meeting a WAVES veteran. David Dorr, corpsman, USNH GB hailed Roach as a hero.

'I think it is amazing that when my daughter grows up, the obstacles that were part of your day-to-day life will be completely foreign to her,' Dorr said. 'That is because you have paved the way by proving to the world that women can do anything they set their minds to do, which makes you a hero,' he continued.

At the conclusion of the tour, Lt. Joseph Strahan, primary care clinic manager, USNH GB, presented Roach with a flag flown at the hospital on Sept. 11 in her honor.

'I am so unworthy, but I humbly accept this flag on behalf of all my sisters,' Roach said as tears filled her eyes.

U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay embraces providing world-class care by maintaining a reputation for sustaining one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of any military treatment facility in the Navy. The patient population of about 6,000 includes military family members, government civilian employees and their families, special category residents, contractors, foreign nationals and migrants.

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For more news from Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, visit www.navy.mil/local/nhgitmo/.