Recognizing BJC’s military heroes
Veterans Day virtual event Nov. 11
All BJC team members are invited to join the BJC Veterans Connection group in a virtual Veterans Day celebration to honor military veterans and current service members at www.BJC.org/ConnectionsEvents from noon-1 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 11. Each hospital and service organization will also thank military heroes locally.
Team members who RSVP’d for the celebration will receive additional details about joining the event and local recognition activities. If you didn’t RSVP, you are still welcome to tune in to the virtual celebration. Learn more about the event.
Team member shares how military experience molded his path
Read a Q&A with David Hosea, Progress West Hospital housekeeping manager and veteran, who offers insights on his military experience and how it shaped his future, including his career at BJC.
- What branch of the service did you join? Where was basic training?
I joined the US Army. Basic training was at Fort Benning, GA – in a little rat hole called Harmony Church.
- Why did you join the service?
At the time, I was going the wrong way in life. I was 17 years old, living in Los Angeles, where there was a lot of gang violence going on. In the neighborhood I lived in, you had two choices: join a gang or die. I worked that whole summer and saved up enough money to pay for a bus ticket to my hometown, Bloomington, IL, to finish high school. My grandfather was a veteran in the Korean War and encouraged me to join the Army. “It will make you a man,” he said. And it sure did.
- How have lessons learned in the service helped you in your career?
Travelling to South Korea, the DMZ, Japan, Panama, the Philippines...all of these travels help expand my world view. I learned how other people and other cultures around the world live. It also taught me leadership and patience, how to be prepared and how to be flexible. I also gained an adventurous spirit in the Army, which has helped me in my career.
- As a veteran, what does Veterans Day mean to you?
To me, it’s honoring those who fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Everyone who joins is willing to put their life on the line. But the ones who served and died or who were wounded – they are the ones who need to be honored.
- What did you think about how our St. Charles County community recently paid respect to a local hero, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz?
It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. Giant American flags over every overpass, different towns and counties, different fire houses coming together to honor this young man. The fact that they all pulled together, different city governments working together, it really showed me what we’re all about and inspired me.
- Are there shows/movies that accurately depict what it's like to be in the service?
The movie that inspired me to join was a movie from the 1970’s called “The Boys in Company C”. The characters in the movie went through basic training before getting shipped out to Vietnam. It showed the interaction between different races and backgrounds, and eventually, after some rough going, they came together to be a team. Another good and very realistic movie is “Full Metal Jacket” with R. Lee Ermey – great movie! It didn’t scare me away from enlisting!
- What would/what do you tell young people considering joining the armed forces?
I always tell them to join the Air Force, not the Army! (laughs) It teaches you cooperation, leadership skills, you get to see the world. It opens your eyes that the world is much bigger than just your town. I wish everyone would have the opportunity to serve, even for a short time after high school. We’d be so much closer to each other as people.
Celebrate military heroes
Honor family members and friends who served or currently serve in the military by posting a photo or tribute message in the Veterans Connection Yammer community. Show your support by Nov. 11, and you could receive a token of thanks! (Duo needed if off the network).