Joint Base San Antonio, Texas (May 7, 2018) -- Sgt. 1st Class David Haugh knew from a very young age that he wanted to join the military and after his parents passed away, he enlisted in the Army as a 68W Healthcare Specialist.

As Haugh described, he comes from humble beginnings. His parents both passed away when he was young. "My Mother when I was 12, my father when I was 16," said Haugh.

He was able to care for his father before he died and calls it a privilege to help him pass with dignity.

"My father had been 68W Combat Medic in the Army. He used to tell us of his adventures in the Army and all the things he got to see."

Haugh was too young to enlist when he was orphaned, so he had to focus on completing high school and supporting himself financially but he enlisted in the Army in 2003. His first duty assignment was in Baumholder, Germany with the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery, 1st Armored Division.

"I was what is known as a Line medic. I immediately deployed to Baghdad, Iraq with my unit in the initial year of the invasion," said Haugh.

Haugh was awarded two Purple Hearts for wounds received in action and the Combat Medical Badge.

"The first [Purple Heart] was awarded for a stray bullet to my left bicep. The second for shrapnel in my leg. I took being wounded a second time as a message. I had aspirations of becoming a Nurse even before that, but I was scared I would fail," said Haugh.

Haugh enjoyed the challenge of becoming an LPN. He set passing the Army's LPN course as his first goal.

"I told myself that, if I couldn't pass the Army's LPN Course, I didn't have any business being a nurse in the first place. I graduated from the Army's 68WM6 LPN Program in 2007," said Haugh.

Haugh currently serves as the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the phase 1 portion of the 68C Program, holds an Associate of Science Degree in Healthcare Science, and is pursuing a Bachelor's of Science Nursing degree.

"When offered the position there was no hesitation. I can't think of a better way to give back to a career that has given me so much. It brings me joy to educate America's finest LPNs," said Haugh.

Haugh has served in many positions during his career from Fort Polk as a Surgical Pavilion NCOIC, Tripler Army Medical Center as the Progressive Care Unit NCOIC, Fort Knox as the NCOIC for the Mother and Baby Unit, and Fort Carson as the 1-22 Infantry, 4th Infantry Division Healthcare NCO.

Looking back on his time with 1-22 infantry, Haugh stated, "We were deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan just outside the city limits on a tiny base in the middle of nowhere. There was a Soldier who had been suffering from a gastrointestinal illness that had been too sick to leave his bed. He had soiled himself and thrown up quite a bit and was too weak to move. The other healthcare workers were too taken aback by the sights and smells. I immediately put gloves on and assisted him to the aid station where I cleaned him up and administered IV Fluids and Medications to him."

The Soldier's thanks after he was feeling better, meant a lot to Haugh. Helping people is why he became an LPN.

Haugh stated, "When I look back and see where I've come from, I feel blessed, humbled, and amazed. Life is hard, Nurses are strong."