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Army Reserve critical care nurse shares reasons to serve

By Lori Kullberg 3rd Medical Recruiting Battalion

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An Army Reserve critical care nurse credits her military service to developing the person and nurse she is today.

Capt. Olivia Benzing serves as a nurse for the Norton Clinical Agency and a critical care nurse for the U.S. Army Reserve.

“I am a better civilian nurse because I serve in the U.S. Army Reserve,” Benzing said.

Benzing calls joining the Army her “quarter-life crisis.” She was a direct commission at the age of 25. She had looked briefly into commissioning after graduation from nursing school in 2013, but once she got her first nursing job at Norton Hospital, that idea went to the back burner. It wasn't until many years later, after receiving a call from a recruiter, that she considered what a life in the Army Reserve might look like.

Most of the nurses Benzing works with know she is in the Army, and they tend to introduce her by saying, “This is Liv. She's in the Army, so you know she's strong.”  Benzing says she thinks her presence in the Army gives her coworkers a sense of relief in knowing that she is always a resource or will be in their corner. As the saying goes, "Never leave a fallen comrade.” This motto extends beyond the battlefield. 

Benzing offers this to anyone considering joining the U.S. Army, “Do it!  I have met professionals from all aspects of medicine, and have truly gotten to know these individuals in ways I never would have in the civilian sector. There is something that bonds individuals together in the commitment to serve other Soldiers.  I have gained leadership experience and have been pushed outside my comfort zone since joining the Army.”

“The Army intrigued me in the sense that it was my way of ultimately giving back,” Benzing added.  “I may not be the one on the frontlines, but I can certainly do my part and care for those who are.”