You may know Owen McKeough from his time as an ED technician, or perhaps you’ve met him in his more recent job as a paramedic on the Platte Valley Ambulance crew. Owen also serves in the Army, and was deployed to Afghanistan a couple of years ago.
After returning to PVMC after his deployment, Owen generously donated a flag to the hospital that flew during the war as a gift of appreciation. He says it was hard to be gone from family and friends for so long, but that he knew his family could rely on support from his friends at work. It was comforting for Owen to know that his coworkers were missing him, and that we’d all welcome him warmly when he arrived home.
Members of Administration, Ambulance, ED and Foundation thanked Owen for his service, and unveiled a shadow box containing the flag Owen gave to the hospital. The flag is mounted on the wall across from the nurses’ station, near the ambulance entrance. “You kept us informed of what you were doing and knew that we were with you the whole time,” said Wendy Colon, director of the Emergency Department. “We wanted to put this flag in a place of honor.”
“I just want to thank everyone for being very supportive while I was out there, for me and my family. It’s stressful being out there and not knowing what’s going on. It was great to know you guys were here for my family, so thank you,” said Owen.
The flag will soon be joined by another, donated by Doug Mitchell, an ED technician, and a combat medic. The flag he donated was flown over a point of entry casualty mission. The flag’s certificate of authenticity reads: “This is to attest the accompanying United States flag was flown aboard a UH-68 Blackhawk helicopter, on the 22nd day of February, 2014 during an urgent medivac mission over western Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As the flag was flown it symbolized the sovereign power of the United States of America and the unshakable resolve to keep our country safe and to assist those in support of our efforts.”
Doug also donated a photo of the Blackhawk helicopter, and his unit patch. Doug thanked Wendy on behalf of the United States government and the Secretary of Defense, for supporting employees who are in the military. Before Doug’s unit deployed in February, Wendy helped several soldiers to update their training at PVMC.