Chief Nursing Officer and Veteran, Cherie Smith, Shares Importance of Veterans Day
Within the OhioHealth organization, there are many military members who are now associates and physicians, serving patients every single day.
“I absolutely think it is a big deal, I really have a lot of great honor and pleasure of serving with our folks within OhioHealth, we are part of an elite group of folks and every time I meet someone within OhioHealth who served in the military, you automatically have this bond because of your service," said Cherie Smith, chief nursing officer at OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital.
She described this service as another level of commitment, and that having military members as a part of the OhioHealth organization highlights diversity and brings different experiences to the table.
Smith is a veteran herself and for her, it was an honor to serve for 24 years.
“In high school, I was looking at college, but college seemed a little bit overwhelming for me and my family at the time,” Smith said, “My mom was a single parent raising 3 girls and it was a little bit out of reach for me.”
Smith was involved in ROTC in high school, which piqued her interest in serving.
“At the age of 17, I decided I wanted to enlist, my mom actually had to go sign the papers for me because first you had to be 18 to do that,” Smith said, “No one believed I was going, but I tricked all of them and I ended up enlisting and actually was a member of the U.S. Air Force for 24 years.”
She was stationed in various locations in the U.S., Asia and Europe. As an enlisted member, she was a military instructor and was an Air Force medic. Throughout that time, she knew nursing was in her future.
“I attended school part time, while raising my family and eventually I committed to enlisting and submitting my application for commissioning program,” Smith said, “I was accepted and went to nursing school full time.”
After she completed her school, Smith became a commissioned officer and RN.
November 11 is an important day, but every day is a day to honor those who have sacrificed so much for our country.
“Special group of people, special level of commitment to the country and many people join just being really self-aware and wanting to do good just by serving their country. and knowing that the ultimate sacrifice could be death," Smith said, “So, Veterans Day and other days outside of Veterans Day really gives us the opportunity to pause, honor and celebrate those who raised their hand in that commitment to our country.”