As the son of a World War Two veteran, Timothy Howell always had the urge to join the military. However, his real desire was to serve those who were already serving.
"It's a rewarding experience to take care of the troops," Howell said. "It's very gratifying to be able to be there and be a part of it."
Commissioned as an Ensign in 1985, Howell was assigned to the Navy's Nurse Corps. He served in the reserves until 2005, when he was deployed to Kuwait to direct a hospital in the middle of the desert.
"It was basically a tent hospital that medical people would set up and take care of the troops," Howell said.
Nursing in desert conditions wasn't always easy, but Howell did what he was trained to do.
"The issue of course, is the heat where it gets up to 140 degrees, so that's a challenge for someone who's ill in a cot in a tent," Howell said.
Howell enjoyed his year serving in Kuwait, but there are times he would like to forget.
"I think the thing you're not prepared for is when someone is wearing your uniform and they don't make it," Howell said. "That's one thing that's the hardest to tackle."
Along with a full time job at UMC, Howell serves as the commanding officer of the Navy Reserves Expeditionary Medical Facility in Chicago. He travels there once a month, but after 27 years in the Navy Reserves, Howell will hang up his uniform December 1.
"You sort of weigh everything in your life and you come to the decision that it's not up to you and it's time to let the youngsters have it," Howell said.
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