With a "long line of nurses" in the family, it was not much of a surprise when Fulton native Tammy Kritzer decided, after graduating from the University of Missouri with a bachelor of arts in sociology, to return to school and pursue her bachelors of science in nursing from St. Louis University.
When she was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force in 2004, Kritzer also was following in familial footsteps, including those of her great-grandfather, Roy Anthony - one of the charter members of the local American Legion post - and her uncle, Bill Books, who served in the U.S. Army. Also like her uncle, Kritzer recently was named as the guest speaker for the 93rd Annual Veterans Banquet hosted by American Legion Post 210 and VFW Post 2657 in Fulton on Nov. 11.
Kritzer, whose service has included deployments to Afghanistan, Japan and Qatar and training as a flight nurse, said she decided to join the military because "my family always instilled in us to be proud of our country."
"I wanted to travel and I knew the military was a good way to travel and see the world," she added.
And it has.
Starting as a registered nurse on an inpatient surgical unit at Travis Air Force Base in California, Kritzer was deployed to Afghanistan from September 2007 to January 2008. While stationed at Travis she was accepted as a flight nurse and ten stationed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan from June of 2008 to June 2012. She served as the medical crew director on flights providing care transporting patients throughout the Pacific.
Kritzer was deployed twice as a flight nurse during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, flying 84 missions and transporting more than 250 patients.