Navy Veteran Dorothy Angela Ryan is today's Veteran of the day.

On the anniversary of the end of Desert Storm’s ground war, today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Dorothy Angela Ryan, who served in the war.

Born and raised in New York City, Angela Ryan grew up in a family of military background. One aunt and four of her uncles served in the Navy, and one aunt served in the Army. While studying nursing at Hunter College in New York City, she applied to become a Navy Nurse Corps candidate. In 1961, she graduated with a bachelor of science in nursing and became an ensign.

Ryan’s first duty station was Camp Pendleton in California, where she served with Marines. She then joined the general surgery nurses at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. While stationed there, Ryan cared for then President Lyndon B. Johnson for 10 nights as he recovered from surgery. As a token of his gratitude, President Johnson invited Ryan and her mother to the White House for a tour. She later served as the night supervisor at the National Naval Medical Center and helped care for many wounded soldiers returning from the Vietnam War. Ryan left Bethesda to serve on USS Patrick, sailing to Guam via Hawaii.

After returning from Guam, Ryan decided to join the Reserve and moved to Colorado. She wanted to gain computer skills that would set her apart and allow her to contribute to the Navy Reserve in the new technological age.

In the late 1980s, several Navy Reserve units were set apart to build, train and support air-conditioned fleet hospitals in the Middle East. Ryan became the director of nursing for Fleet Hospital 6, consisting of a 500-bed fleet hospital and 1,000 medical and essential personnel from five states.

In early January 1991, Ryan and her unit left Denver, Colorado, and traveled to Fort Dix, New Jersey, to assemble and receive additional training. They then went to serve in Bahrain until mid-March 1991, when Operation Desert Shield/Storm was over.

Ryan enjoyed attending yearly meetings for the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, where she learned about the latest leadership ideas and saw old friends.

Mentoring younger Navy nurses was also important to Ryan. She started a new Navy Nurse Corps Association chapter in Denver and gathered retired and active Navy nurses together to become the Land Locked Navy Nurse Corps Association.

We honor her service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

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. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Writer: Katherine Berman

Editor: Rachel Falconer and Kristen Whitehurst

Fact checker: Ileana Rodrigues and Bhaavana Oruganty

Graphic artist: Katie Rahill

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Published on Feb. 27, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.5 min.

Views to date: 139


  1. Maureen Christopher March 2, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Well stated, Richard.

    I served with Captain Ryan. Wow. She is a great leader and was so in tune with what we needed as a Fleet Hospital unit.
    She always thought on a higher level than anyone. A true advocate for her Nurses and a great Mom and wife, too, as our Role Model. This award is not only wonderful but Captain Ryan truly deserves this honor!

  2. Senior Veterans Care Network March 1, 2021 at 10:47 am

    We honor the service of Angela Ryan.

  3. Richard Denis Johnson February 28, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    It takes a special person to not only put on the uniform but also to live by that oath that they take of self-sacrifice, especially in a time when we might not have as much faith in the political structure above the service and their decision making abilities and sometimes unfortunately not even in the mission itself because of the mixture of politics and war.

    But nothing can ever take away from the individual soldier sailor marine or airman the absolute honors that are deserved for having helped preserve our freedoms

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