FORT IRWIN, Calif. —
Army Spc. Gregoire Mondragon, a combat medic with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s 108th Area Support Medical Company, 213th Regional Support Group, is used to the type of work done at the aid station at the National Training Center here.
Mondragon, an Allentown, Pennsylvania, resident, works as a registered nurse at Saint Luke’s Anderson Campus hospital. His military service led him to his civilian health care career.
“Honestly, [combat medic] school was the first introduction to health care that I ever had,” Mondragon said. After going through his advanced individual training, he added, he felt he had the tools necessary to become a nurse.
“I think it was a fluid transition,” he said. [The combat medic instructors] prepare you to take care of emergencies. They gave you the basis of emergency medicine, and I just wanted to explore that a little bit further.”
His civilian occupation has also given him a unique perspective on his work at the aid station.
“We are in an austere environment, so the conditions are very different [from a civilian emergency room],” Mondragon said. The aid station’s responsibility is to stabilize patients and then send them to where they can receive more intensive care, he explained.
Both his military job and his civilian career make him a part of something bigger than himself, Mondragon said. “I wanted to use my talents to do something that would benefit the greater good and make an impact on my community,” he added.