va hospital

When my niece, Gaby Beach and my nephew, Allen Beach left Wyoming for Eugene, Oregon, it was as close to going home for Gaby, as she has been in years. Gaby’s family also lives in Oregon, although not Eugene. They are about an hour away from what I understand. Still for a number of years while Gaby was in the Navy, and going to college in Wyoming, she was often as far away from her family as it gets, specifically Japan, Wyoming, and Maryland. That made frequent visits to see them a major undertaking, and not a simple hour drive. I know that she missed them, and they missed her. It’s just never easy to live far away from your family. Now, with this move back to Oregon, where, as Gaby puts it, “her heart is,” they get much more frequent visits. I am happy for them, even though that means that we don’t get to see Gaby and Allen as much.

When they made to decision to move, Gaby applied to several places. As a nurse, she accepted a position with the Veteran’s Administration, working in a VA Hospital. As a veteran herself, veterans hold a special place in her heart. Unfortunately, with things the way they are in our nation, there is a bit of a shortage of doctors everywhere, which includes her hospital. That puts more responsibility on the nurses than ever. While they can’t diagnose, they can care for patients who have been diagnosed already. So, upon her arrival, Gaby dove right in and got to work nursing the men and women who had gone through some or more of the same things she had. Gaby understands what they are going through, even if many of them are quite a bit older than she is. There are also many who are younger and have been wounded or who suffer from things like PTSD. Part of Gaby’s job is to schedule vets for appointments and procedures too. They need a lot of care, and like the doctor shortage, there is also a nurse shortage in our nation, making Gaby a very valuable asset to the VA Hospital in Eugene, or anywhere else for that matter.

Being from Oregon, which does have a milder climate than we have here in Wyoming, Gaby is really enjoying that part of returning home. She and Allen love the outdoors and hiking, and Oregon has lots of places for them to enjoy one of their favorite pastimes. Gaby is also a “plant fanatic” and there are lots of different plants there for her to experiment with. They decided to lease an apartment for now, so they could get to know Eugene and thereby, decide where they want to live in the city. I don’t recall ever being there, so I have only seen pictures on Gaby and Allen’s Facebooks. Nevertheless, like them, I love to hike, and it really does look like a beautiful area for lots of long hikes in the wilderness areas there. I know there will also be some great opportunities for my sister and Allen’s mom, Caryl Reed and her husband, Mike Reed; as well as Allen’s sister, Andrea Beach and her son Chris Spicer to go and visit too. While we miss Gaby and Allen, it’s all good, as long as they are happy where they are and they seem to be, so we are too. Today is Gaby’s birthday. Happy birthday Gaby!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My niece, Kayla Stevens is first and foremost a wife to my nephew, Garrett, and a mom to their daughter, 10 month old Elliott Michelle. Being a mom is a dream come true for Kayla, and she is having the time of her life. She and Elliott are very close, and now that the weather is nicer, they have been going on walks every evening after Kayla gets off work. It’s their mother daughter time. Kayla is a great mom, and Elliott is a happy, healthy baby girl, who is full of smiles.

Kayla has been busy this summer being a bridesmaid for her friend Hannah’s wedding in Huntington Beach, California. The whole family went and had a great time. It was Elliott’s first vacation, and they made some great memories there. Kayla will be a bridesmaid in two more weddings this summer, so the summer is shaping up to be quite busy. Weddings are always fun, and for Kayla to be able to help celebrate with her friends is awesome.

A couple of weeks ago, Kayla started a new job at the VA Hospital in Sheridan, Wyoming on their suicide prevention task force. She has worked hard both studying to become a social worker and in her prior job, but I think that this is going to be the culmination of the vision she had for her career. So far she likes her new job. I think is takes a special kind of person to deal with the stresses and problems of other people, but Kayla has a heart for that, and I know that she is a blessing both to her coworkers and her patients.

Kayla’s family all live in Sheridan, and she still has all four of her grandparents, so her little family has been spending lots of time with all of them. They have started a tradition of getting together for lunch after church on Sundays with a lot of the family joining in. They also go to Kayla’s parents, Lynette and Wes Smiley’s house in the country for dinner on the weekends. Elliott loves to look at the cows and horses. Also, now that the weather is nice, they have been able to come to Casper to visit Garrett’s family, my sister, Alena and her husband Mike, as well as his sisters Michelle and Lacey. Alena and Mike have also had more opportunities to go to Sheridan to visit. Its a busy life in so many ways, but Kayla and Garrett feel very blessed with their little family, and their extended families. Today is Kayla’s birthday. Happy birthday Kayla!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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