West Coast University proudly supports America's veterans and active duty military personnel. We are incredibly proud of our students and faculty who have served and are still serving in the military. We thank you for your service and sacrifices.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, we would like to share the story of one of our faculty members - Dr. Louis DiBernardo.
“The only reason to do anything worth doing, is because you have a true desire to help others,” Dr. DiBernardo shares. “There are many careers based on service – nursing, military, police, fire – do it because you want to help people. We need to take care of each other.”
Dr. DiBernardo is a West Coast University-Orange County faculty member who served his country in the Army Reserves Medical Corps from 2002 through 2010. He just re-entered the Army Reserves in 2015 with hopes of serving for at least 12 more years.
He has a strong legacy of military service in his family with his father having served in Vietnam and his grandfather and two great uncles having served in World War II. Dr. DiBernardo was just finishing his residency training in 2001 when the September 11 attacks occurred.
“I knew that they were going to need physicians, so I decided to do my part to serve my country,” Dr. DiBernardo shared.
During his eight years in the Army Reserves, Dr. DiBernardo was mobilized three times to serve as an Army physician, including: Medical Officer in Charge (OIC) of mobilization/demobilization at Fort Drum in support of 10th Mountain Division; at an Alaskan military hospital for in-patient and out-patient care of military personnel and their families;and deployed as a Field Surgeon for a Military Police Battalion and ER physician for a Combat Support Hospital in Bucca, Iraq. Once he returned home as an Army Reservist, Dr. DiBernardo maintained an active role in military leadership, serving as Company Commander, Battalion XO, Brigade Surgeon, Command Surgeon, and Combat Medic Training OIC.
“I’ve seen a lot of things done the wrong way in healthcare, and I hope to be able to instill in my students that they need to recognize and overcome those types of obstacles to better care for their patients,” Dr. DiBernardo shares.
Now at WCU-Orange County, Dr. DiBernardo is not only instructing students towards their career in healthcare, he is also actively helping other veteran students with a new Veteran’s Support Group.
“One of the unique attributes at West Coast University-Orange County is that we have veteran faculty members actively involved in creating a network of support for our veteran students,” he said. “Veteran students are motivated to take care of fellow veterans. It’s a beautiful representation of the spirit of service.”
In honor of Veteran’s Day, all students and staff who are veterans are encouraged to stop by Student Services to pick up their veteran pin. Please take a moment to recognize and thank your nearest veteran for their service to our country.
“I remind my students to be appreciative of how far they’ve made it, because working in healthcare is tough. There are so many things you can do to help people and help make this world a better place. I can’t think of anything better than helping others.”