BAMC logisticians log more than 130 years
December 5, 2013
Brooke Army Medical Center's logistical department will soon experience the loss of more than 130 years of combined service rendered by four professionals at the end of this year.
Faye Older, Contract Management chief (31 years), Gloria Miller, Environmental Services chief (47 years), David Colton, Optical Fabrication Lab deputy chief (47 years), and Lloyd Sherman, Biomedical Equipment technician (63 years), will retire from civil service later this month.
"It is hard to describe what will be lost with the retirement of these four individuals," said Army Col. Richard Webb, BAMC Logistics chief. "For a combined 100 plus years, these individuals have been part of the unsung heroes that live by the motto "Healthcare Starts with Medical Logistics." The dedication and commitment they have made to make a difference in the quality of care for our beneficiaries and staff is immeasurable."
Almost 50 years ago, Miller began her career as a secretary in the housekeeping department in the Beach Pavilion on Fort Sam Houston. She has seen many changes during her tenure at BAMC but her commitment and dedication still carries on to this day as she remains devoted to the patients, staff and the department.
"Our department provides a service to our patients and staff, there is never a dull moment. Even though I will miss BAMC because it has been a big part of my life, I know it's the right time to retire," she said. "We have great staff here that shows we care for our wounded warriors. I've witnessed this when we were at Beach Pavilion during the Vietnam era in the Orthopedics ward and the Burn Ward at the main hospital. Medical care has come a long way for the betterment of our soldiers, along with housekeeping procedures and techniques. As one of my co-workers stated one day, housekeeping is not just pushing a mop and broom."
She is currently responsible for the environmental services for the medical center that covers over 2.3 million square feet. Last year, her department laundered more than 3,200,000 pounds of hospital linen, disposed over 49,000 regulated medical wastes, and recycled more than 59,000 pounds of recyclable products.
Retired Air Force Master Sergeant Sherman served 22 years in the military before he began his career as a Biomedical Equipment technician 41 years ago. At age 87, he is ready to relax and enjoy life after retirement.
"I used to work at Wilford Hall when it first opened in 1941, shortly after I transferred over to BAMC and have been here since," he said. "During my tenure here, I have seen a lot of changes especially the huge construction we had a couple years ago and I have repaired thousands pieces of respiratory equipment," he said. "But it's about time I retired; everyone needs to go one time or another."
Older, who oversees the medical supplies and specialty contracts, said she will miss seeing everyone including the Wounded Warriors in the medical center.
"There are two things that have brought such heartfelt pleasure for me at BAMC," she said. "Seeing the difference in Soldiers who were treated here with burns and missing limbs and how we helped them recover with new tissues for skin grafts is amazing. We also provide prostheses to amputee Soldiers. It is truly remarkable to see the change in Soldiers as they heal and rehabilitate, like JR on dancing with the stars, he was one of ours. My heart just melts."
Working in an optical laboratory that operates and fabricates 1,600 to 2,000 eye glasses a day for 27 years, retired Army Master Sergeant Colton is ready to travel the world and spend more time with his family.
"I remember when military eye glasses we use to make were called the "Birth Control" glasses. We came a long way and now we have multiple styles to choose from," he said. "I really enjoy my making them, especially when I see active duty service members or retired veterans wearing glasses around town," said Colton. "I know it came out of my shop and I had something to do with it. That makes me feel good, know that I make a little difference -- I'll miss that. But I also know I need to retire while I can still get around, to travel with my wife and my family."
Humble and always working behind the scene, these professionals are greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten for their selfless service they gave to our patients, our department and the medical center, said Webb.
"Countless doctors, surgeons, nurses, medics and other clinical staff relied upon them to provide the medical equipment, supplies, facilities, optical fabrication and environment of care necessary to provide world class health care," said Webb. "There are no words to describe the gratitude we have for their professionalism, dedication, and sacrifice. They will all be sorely missed."
In honor of the retirees, BAMC Logistics will officially recognize them during a retirement ceremony in January. Everyone is welcome to attend. More information will follow after the holidays.