MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester VA Medical Center is seeking the public’s help in elevating one of their own.
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About Jeffery Ballard (nominated by his wife)
Jeffery has been a member of the Army National Guard for nearly 20 years. Just a few months after getting married in 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan. He served as an Infantry Medic and was injured while serving in combat.
After several surgeries and months of physical therapy, Jeff was able to return to bedside nursing after being home for 14 months. He had returned to the Emergency Department where he had always worked before deployment. Sadly, because of Jeff’s emotional injuries and PTSD, returning to the Emergency Department almost destroyed him. Every day was a constant trigger for his PTSD and he ended up leaving the ED after less than a year.
Jeff was nominated by his wife who, at the time, clearly saw the pain he was in – both physically and mentally. Jeff was lost and his wife felt helpless. She could only offer him support and understanding.
What saved Jeff and made him an amazing nurse again was beginning work as a nurse at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jeff has been with the VA for nearly five years now and has flourished there. While all nurses are compassionate and go above and beyond, his wife says that Jeff and his dedication to his patients and fellow nurses is one of a kind.
Jeff now works in a case management-type role and serves in a program that helps elderly Veterans maintain their independence. These are vulnerable Veterans that could end up in Nursing Homes without nurses like Jeff. You can again hear the passion in Jeff’s voice and see the spark in his eyes when he talks about the work that he does. Because he is also a combat veteran who has seen unimaginable horrors, the older Veterans, and especially the Vietnam Veterans, take to Jeff quickly and they form a bond of trust that really helps them both heal.