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A Second Calling—Cameron Kieffer’s Transition from Soldier to Nurse

by Paige Dormann Jun 20, 2023
Cameron Kieffer Commencement_MC040423_Photo_151

Cameron Kieffer ’23 knew from a young age that he wanted to enlist in the military. Growing up, he heard stories about the U.S. Army from his dad, a combat veteran of the Gulf War, and stories of service from his mom, who was a nurse. 

“By July of 2013, I was at my duty station in Fort Wainwright, Alaska. I spent three years there developing cold weather warfare skills, with training missions to both Fort Polk, Louisiana, and Fort Irwin, California,” said Kieffer, an Army veteran and nursing graduate. 

For more than two years, Kieffer was assigned as a rifleman, radiotelephone operator, and squad designated marksman. He spent his last year in a squad leader role and Stryker vehicle commander.

Kieffer earned an Army Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal before being honorably discharged and returning home. Faced with the need to change careers, he began working for Lehigh Valley Health Network and eventually enrolled at DeSales.

“During my time as a tech at the hospital, I heard only good things about DeSales. I did more research and found that the yellow ribbon program would greatly benefit me.” 

 Cameron Kieffer ’23

Kieffer excelled as a student, earning several honors such as receiving the LeCoMASE scholarship during his junior year. He credits Wendy Badman—director of veterans and military services—the veteran program at DeSales, and veteran peers with his academic success.

“Our veteran program is the only reason I am here and graduating. I would, without a doubt, recommend DeSales to any veteran.”

Kieffer recently accepted a position as a nurse at LVHN’s neuroscience intensive care unit.

“Neuroscience is special to me because my mother has suffered from brain tumors over the years, first when I was about 9 years old. The brain is so vastly complex and seems to be the greatest and most mysterious part of the body. To me, the brain is the ‘person’ and our bodies are how we interact with the world.”

Kieffer’s uniform may have changed, but his mission remains the same: to serve others to the best of his ability.