Air Force Veteran and VA Nurse wins Nurse of the Year Award


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Manuel Martin is a retired Air Force Major and current Registered Nurse serving at VA Central California Health Care System. Recently, he received CCHCS’s Nurse of the Year award, honoring his hard work, dedication, compassion and sincere love for his fellow Veterans. Nurse Manager Diane Palacio describes him as “the nurse you want at your loved one’s bedside.”

Martin served as a Navigator on bombers, tankers and cargo planes in the Air Force for 24 years. At age 48, he decided to pursue a career in nursing, along with his two daughters—all of them following in his wife’s footsteps. However, a military experience in which he coordinated the medical evacuation of a severely injured Marine sparked his passion for helping others many years ago. Martin knew right away he wanted to care for fellow Veterans at VA.

VA is proud to have Veterans like Nurse Martin helping others heal physically and mentally. Veterans possess an ability to comfort and instill hope that can only arise from shared experience and a deep understanding with our patients. You, too, can give Veterans the empathy and attention they need to achieve better health and wellness. At VA, we value the contributions of our Veteran workforce and strive to provide them all the tools, resources and generous benefits necessary to thrive in their careers. Experience a future where your military skills can be amplified into an impactful, satisfying continued life of service. Start today—explore opportunities near you and apply.

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VA Careers