Navy veteran and nursing student Israel “Izzy” Sanchez was excited when he learned Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle would be speaking to his nursing class during TCU’s Navy week.
Sanchez joined the Navy in 2003 as a designated airman before going to Naval Hospital Great Lakes in 2005, where his first command started. He served under McCormick-Boyle when she was executive officer at the Great Lakes Branch Clinic.
Originally, Sanchez wanted to become an aerospace medical technician, but her mentorship and leadership are the reasons he decided to become a nurse.
“She was a big fan of the hospital corps and she knew how to take care of her hospital corpsmen and mentor us to be able to think outside of a hospital,” Sanchez said.
McCormick-Boyle is big on education, leadership, and health promotion.
“Those are the things that I absolutely re-call about her and I’m fascinated,” Sanchez said. “Look at her now, she’s an admiral. That’s a lot of hard work.”
During her talk, McCormick-Boyle said she feels fulfilled and is a part of something special. She said the Navy changes people and teaches them how to become leaders in society.
Looking back on his experience, Sanchez said he misses the Navy because of the community-like atmosphere.
“When you’re in the medical corps, you pretty much know everybody or you know somebody that knows somebody,” Sanchez said.
It has been more than ten years since he’s seen McCormick-Boyle, but the connections are still there.
“Reconnecting with my Navy family is by far the most comforting thing,” Sanchez said. “You pick up where you left off, and that’s what I love about it.”