Brothers, while some of you will wonder why I posted this here... At the SFA Chapter 1-18 meeting this last saturday, several of the old timers mentioned that LTC (RET) Dallas (her father) is SFA member number 1 (as in numero uno).
De Opresso Liber
Published on Saturday, July 12, 2008
Army's new top nurse has Fayetteville roots
By Henry Cuningham
Photos by John R. Chew
Maj Gen. Patricia Horoho receives her second stars from her husband, retired Col Ray Horoho, left, and her parents, retired Lt. Col. and Mrs. Frank Dallas.
Patricia D. Horoho, a 1978 graduate of E.E. Smith High School, became a two-star general and the Army’s top nurse on Friday in Washington, D.C.
Horoho, who was born on Fort Bragg in 1960, said she grew up around the Army post and Fayetteville surrounded by soldiers and officers who “served as role models.”
She is the daughter of Frank and Jo Dallas, longtime Fayetteville residents who recently moved to her home in Maryland. Her father enlisted in the Army at age 17 during World War II and retired as a lieutenant colonel.
“Nobody talked about it to me, but it was my decision in my senior year at UNC Chapel Hill that I wanted to go on active duty for three years just to see the world and try something different,” she said in a telephone interview.
The Army has sent her to Colorado, Pittsburgh and Georgia in assignments ranging from staff nurse to hospital commander to graduate student.
Fayetteville’s civilian community also offered mentors. She attended St. Ann Catholic School and St. Patrick Catholic School. Two people who influenced her most were English teachers — John C. Panter at St. Patrick and Phyllis Sinclair at E.E. Smith.
“Both of those were just tremendous role models and had an impact on how I lead and the importance of education and the importance of working hard,” she said.
She is married to Raymond Thomas Horoho, and they have three children, Robert Sean, 21, John Francis, 15, and Mary Margaret, 14.
Horoho was delighted when the Army sent her back to Womack in the early 1990s.
“I loved it,” she said. “It was such an honor. While I was there, I delivered two of my children at Womack. It was kind of neat to have my son, John, and my daughter, Maggie, born at the same hospital I was born in.”
On March 23, 1994, she was the head nurse of Womack Army Medical Center’s emergency room during the airplane crash at Pope Air Force Base that sent burned soldiers flooding into Fort Bragg’s hospital.
“It was truly a landmark within my career and really solidified the importance of what I think nurses bring to taking care of our warriors,” she said.
An F-16D Fighting Falcon fighter jet collided in midair with a C-130E Hercules cargo airplane over Pope Air Force Base. The collision sent the fighter skidding across the pavement and into a parked C-141 Starlifter, then into an area filled with paratroopers known as the Green Ramp.
Within an hour, the Womack emergency room had 134 burn victims, some who arrived stacked up on whatever military or civilian vehicle was available or with clothes burned off, she said.
“Everybody responded,” she said. “It was right at the change of shift.” The hospital had been going through drills and training with local emergency responders for a similar situation.
“It showed me that you need to constantly train realistically to be prepared for any situation, to be able to work collectively as a team,” she said.
Seven years later, she was at the Pentagon to help with organizing medical care when an aircraft crashed into the building during the 9/11 attacks.
Twenty-six years after becoming a registered nurse, she is the leader of more than 9,000 Army nurses in the active Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard.
Horoho stepped down Friday morning as commander of the Walter Reed Health Care System in Washington, D.C. She rose from colonel to two-star general and became chief of the Army Nurse Corps in an afternoon ceremony.
The Walter Reed Health Care System provides health care to more than 150,000 people, including military personnel, family members and retirees. The three facilities are Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center at Fort Meade, Md.; and DeWitt Army Health Care Network at Fort Belvoir, Va., with satellite clinics.
In late July she also will take command of the Western Regional Medical Command with headquarters at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash.
Military editor Henry Cuningham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org