Veteran of the Day graphic by Cynthia Tong
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army and Air Force Veteran Elis Salamone. Elis served from 1985 to 2014.
Elis was born in Puerto Rico and raised by a single mother of three who became a nurse and moved her family to the United States in 1972. Elis began volunteering as a nurse aid during her junior year of high school and enlisted in the Army in 1985. She was first stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and then she was assigned to Camp Humphrey, South Korea. She left active duty in 1988 and stayed in the Army Reserves while attending Marymount University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1994. Once her contract in the Reserves was over, Elis was commissioned as a nurse in the Air Force in 1995.
Her first assignment in the Air Force was at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and then from 2002 to 2008, she was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. While at Andrews, she earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Regis University, specializing in leadership in health care systems and in 2008, was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon her return from deployment, she earned an Air Force scholarship that allowed her to pursue a Master of Science in Women’s Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. After completing her graduate program, she was stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado in 2010 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. During her time in Afghanistan, Elis directed the clinical operations and was in charge of the female treatment team at a firebase that provided local women with access to enhanced medical care and health education.
For her service, Elis earned the Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation, 2012 Air Force Space Command Nurse Practitioner of the Year and various other medals and awards. After her retirement in 2014, she worked as a nurse practitioner at Madigan Army Medical Center for the Army for three years and is currently working as a nurse practitioner with the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority.
Thank you for your service, Elis!
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Matthias Sheppard, Ashley Levi, and Taryn Gehman contributed to this story.