SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Veterans Day is marked by parades, speeches, and solemn ceremonies, but one local veteran is going beyond saying “thank you” by committing to another kind of service.
As the American flag is raised to offer a nation’s appreciation, Stephanie Johnson reflected on how her four years of service in the Air Force helped shape her medical career.
The registered nurse is one of the nearly 1,500 veterans and reservists working for Sutter Health.
She organized a Veterans Day celebration to honor the courage and sacrifice that millions of families have made, and continue to make, in defense of our country.
“This year, I just knew in my heart that we needed to do something that was tangible, that people could touch and feel. So, I put together this flag raising ceremony,” Johnson said.
While Johnson didn’t see combat, she cared for soldiers at a family medical clinic at Grand Forks Air Force base in North Dakota.
She says the military’s structure and team mentality has helped her thrive in her “civilian life of service.”
“I’ve been with Sutter for 18 years and the entire time, I kept growing in a leadership capability and I thank it all to my time in the Air Force,” Johnson said.
Johnson now runs Sutter’s critical care and emergency services department, overseeing staff who are veterans and reservists.
It’s a role she takes deep pride in. Johnson said she tries to make a difference in a veterans life each and every day throughout the year.
“We’ll change schedules, we make sure that they have the opportunity to get out and do what they’ve signed up to do,” she said.
Johnson isn’t the only veteran in her family. Her husband is one, and her daughter and son-in-law are active duty.
Johnson also organizes care packages for Sutter employees and their families who are deployed.