KVARN TRAINING AREA, Sweden — “My grandma was an Army nurse and my grandpa was a bombardier in World War II. He got shot down in North Africa, and lost his leg, and she took care of him in the hospital. That’s how they met,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. William Myers, assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.
A soft grin graced Myers' face as he recalled the seemingly fairy tale meeting of his grandparents.
“Because of that, I’ve always liked the idea of helping people,” said Myers.
Myers grew up witnessing the impact that a medical career can have on people. This sparked something inside of him that led to following in his grandparents' footsteps and joining the U.S. Army. Myers went to his local Military Entrance Processing Station with a tentative infantryman airborne contract. While at MEPS, the possibility to join the combat arms occupation was lost due to unforeseen circumstances.
“So I selected 68W [Combat Medic],” said Myers. “Before, it wasn’t available, but now it was. After going through MEPS, I did: basic training, AIT [Advanced Individual Training], and now I’m halfway through my career.”
Through Myers' 10-year career, including a combat deployment, he has developed his expertise but according to the enlisted medical specialist, it’s the relationships that have really made a difference.
“I’m closer friends with the people I work with on a daily basis than the ones I worked with before the Army,” said Myers. “It’s amazing to me how you can come from a diverse background and come together in a close-knit setting. That is what keeps me in the Army.”
Myers' smile validates just how much he enjoys his job.
“I really like my job. I appreciate the medical aspect of it, study it, and do all I can to make people better. Knowing that my skills made a difference in someone’s life and in some cases saved it, is a really good feeling,” said Myers.
Myers' good feeling is contagious: just as his grandparents influenced his interest in the medical field, Lyndsey, his wife, has expressed the interest in serving to heal, as well.
“She is looking at getting her master’s degree in social work,” Myers said enthusiastically. “She specializes in military mental health and because of that she wants to help veterans.”
Myers’ experience has given him more than just medical skills. He has learned how to be a better leader and he gets to share that wisdom with those around him.
“I tell my Soldiers that you have to be firm and fair because everyone is a person. Leaders forget that they were privates once, officers forget that they were lieutenants. You are dealing with people and at the end of the day you have to take care of them. After all, as a non-commissioned officer it is your job to take care of the welfare of your Soldiers.”
For Myers that is what it means to be an Army medic.