ERIE (Erie News Now) – Men and women who served our country are celebrated on November 11, but on June 12, it’s a special day to honor our female veterans.
Before Julie Ninkovic worked as the Employee Operational Health Nurse at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, she was a Lieutenant Commander who served twenty years in the reserves and eight years in active duty in the U.S. Navy.
“I was fortunate I was never in any active combat, but I was always on the state side waiting to serve or care for my fellow shipmates”, explained Ninkovic.
In active duty, she worked in personnel and as a nurse corp. officer, both fields with many strong women. “There was a lot of woman that served with me in the personnel office and they were my mentors and I looked up to them, kind of like big sisters and they become your family as well”, said Ninkovic.
Ninkovic used her experience in the Navy with her role at the VA, “As a female veteran working here at the VA Medical Center, not only do I get to served with my fellow shipmates that have served with me in the past, we have a lot of veterans that work here in all the serves, whether it’s enlisted or the officer side of the house.”
She said that she learned a lot during her time serving our country, but it’s the people she met and worked with that stand out to her the most. “The people that I met and the people I served with, I think that’s the best thing you take away”, said Ninkovic.
While Sunday is a day to remember female veterans, Ninkovic reminds people not to forget about them the other 364 days of the year. “Not just on June 12, but throughout the year and always to recognize women veterans but all veterans and for them to know they have a place to come to receive care”, said Ninkovic.
Ninkovic said thanks to her time in the military she got to use the G.I Bill for her education, got to travel and meet some incredible people.