UT Southwestern veterans reflect on their service

UT Southwestern Medical Center employs military veterans across its campus in a variety of positions, each one bringing to their roles valuable experience they gained serving our country.

Paul Clyde, Events Supervisor at UT Southwestern and First Sergeant in United States Army Reserve:

Clyde: “I grew up in Hot Springs, South Dakota.”

Clyde: “My grandpa fought in World War II, my uncle fought in Korea, my dad fought in Vietnam, my oldest brother joined the Navy, my next brother joined the Air Force, and my brother next to me joined the Army.”

Clyde: “I went to boot camp in August of 1990 and when we went through boot camp, Sedum had just invaded Kuwait.  So that was used to motivate us to learn the skills of throwing away your civilian life and becoming a soldier.”

Clyde: “It was exciting. It was tough. It was different. I had my hair long, you know I had the 80’s mullet going and they shaved my head.” :09

Clyde: “Once I got in and realized I was a part of something bigger than myself.”

Clyde: “I’ve been on six total deployments.”

Clyde: “I got to do humanitarian A-drops. I worked with the state department. We got to do a lot of good stuff helping with the basics, food, water and shelter for a lot of Iraqis that were displaced in our area of operation.”

Clyde: “My time here at UT has been challenging and it’s been fun. The guys that I work with we’ve all been together for 17 years with our department.”

Clyde: “I have a deep amount of respect for the guys that I work with because they have to work more and longer when I’m gone.”

Clyde: “I just do my job and come home and hope to be there when my kids grow up. And see my parents one more day. And I want that for every single veteran that has served. That’s my way of looking at Veterans day. It’s paying respect.”

Vera Sadler, Administrative Manager, Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases and Retired Private First Class, United States Army:

Sadler: “I was born in the Bronx and raised in Queens and Long Island.”

Sadler: “The service was an opportunity to leave home and do just what they said, ‘see the world’. I enlisted at 18.”

Sadler: “I graduated in June and spent the summer at home and I was gone in September.”

Sadler: “I remember going to the beauty parlor with my mom…and the beautician told my mom she will never make it. She’s too scrawny, she’s too skinny. So, my determination in the military was to prove everybody wrong.”

Sadler: “I learned extreme discipline. I learned integrity. I learned comradery.”

Sadler: “I served active duty two years and I was inactive in the ready reserve for four years. I was also a military wife for another ten years.”

Sadler: “As a female veteran, I’m leaving a legacy – not just for myself, but for my grandchildren. I’m making a mark that women can strive to be whatever you choose to be.”

Sadler: “The United States of America is a free country and we fight about so much that is meaningless. We should respect the freedom that we have and thank those who served.”

Marco Martinez, UT Southwestern Medical School Class of 2019 and Chief Petty Officer, United States Navy

Martinez: “In 1996 is when I went to basic training, so a little over 20 years ago.”

Martinez: “I went to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for my undergraduate training. My brother was there. He was a year ahead of me.”

Martinez: “It was always something that I kind of wanted to do to give back to my country, defend my country in case anything were to happen.”

Martinez: “I traveled all over the country doing some engineering work and from there I deployed to Bagdad, Iraq as the Executive Officer of the 447th Expeditionary Group.”

Martinez: “I separated from the Air Force for a little bit and I was a civilian engineer.”

Martinez: “When I got into medical school here at UT Southwestern, I was picked up for a Navy scholarship and now I’m in the Navy.”

Martinez: “My job is to learn to help people. I always look at it as doing what you want to do in life that will fulfil you inside and for me that’s helping people…with such significant events in people’s lives.”

Martinez: “As soon as I graduate, I will be recommissioned as an officer in the United States Navy and I will do my residency most likely at a Naval Facility.”

Martinez: “I take pride in my service. I prefer to think of it as quite humble pride. I’m more proud of those guys that are around me. They’re just good stand up, wholesome people who stands up when their country calls them, and they take a step forward to places that can be dangerous.”