The roots of the PA profession are wound around those brave men and women who chose to serve their country by becoming healers. The first three PAs were former Navy Corpsmen and the early ranks of the profession were filled with those veterans who had been trained to be medics in the fields of Vietnam. The PA History Society has always made a point to honor the heritage of the profession by capturing the stories of our veterans. Below are some highlights from our collection that feature the brave men and women who have served the United States in a branch of the uniformed services.
Video Oral History Interviews
James Cannon: Dr. Cannon is a retired US Coast Guard Officer. He shares his story about becoming a PA and the most satisfying aspects of his PA career.
Amy Jackson: Ms. Jackson is currently the Deputy Commander for Administration of the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Clinic in Belgium. She talks about how she enrolled in the Interservice PA Program (IPAP), her experiences as a commander, and her work on the first Army PA handbook!
Jim Kielek: Mr. Kielek joined the Navy in 1973, became a hospital corpsman, and then graduated from PA school in 1982. He is the only Navy PA to have attained the rank of Captain after first working his way up the enlisted ranks to Senior Chief Petty Officer, and the Warrant Officer Ranks to Chief Warrant Officer 3.
Dean Meade: Mr. Meade was a member of the first graduating class of MEDEX Northwest. He was a Vietnam Veteran. What makes this interview extra special is that the interviewer is a student from the MEDEX PA program, Ms. Van Phan, and her parents were refugees from the Vietnam War.
Christopher Pase: LTC Christopher Pase, PA-C, has spent more than 25 years as an Army PA. He talks about his involvement with the Soldier for Life program, how he became a PA, and offers advice to those thinking of joining the PA profession.
Audio Oral History Interviews
Ed Williams: Mr. Williams is a WWII veteran and a former Navy Corpsmen. He joined the Howard University PA Program in 1973.
John Padgett: Mr. Padgett was a Special Forces medic during the Vietnam War. He joined the MEDEX PA program in 1971. He also worked on the famous Alaska Pipeline Project in 1975.
Thomas Powell: Mr. Powell was a Corpsman during Vietnam and was one of the first Naval PAs to graduate from the Navy PA program in 1973. He was also one of the first Navy PAs to “go to sea”.
Ray Reed: Mr. Reed never finished PA school, but as he was attending the Duke PA program before he was drafted, he was afforded the unique opportunity to help form the Army PA program.
For a Collection of Audio Oral History Interviews on the formation and early years of the Interservice PA program, please follow this link: https://tinyurl.com/y8pngefm
For more stories from PA veterans or service members, please browse through out collection! https://tinyurl.com/y78cwrcp
For photographs dealing with PAs in the military, PA veterans, and the AAPA Veterans Caucus, please click on the following link: https://bit.ly/2AQCqPP
Also, please view our online Exhibits for great articles about the formation of the Veterans Caucus and their various projects throughout their early years, and stories of those PA who have served. https://pahx.org/collection-and-exhibits/