Lt. Col. Branson serves vets in retirement

Lt. Col. Ginger Branson, U.S. Army (ret.) recently volunteered at the 11th Annual Blue Star Salute in Mobile, Ala., honoring those who serve, those who have served and those fallen in service. (Contributed)

Lt. Col. Ginger Branson, U.S. Army (ret.) recently volunteered at the 11th Annual Blue Star Salute in Mobile, Ala., honoring those who serve, those who have served and those fallen in service. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

Desert Storm U.S. Army veteran Lt. Col. Ginger Branson was the charge nurse for the 251st EVAC Hospital in Saudi Arabia, the busiest hospital in theater with over 1,000 surgeries and 6,000 patients.

In 1990 when Branson spent six months overseas, her civilian husband Keith was left home with their two small sons, ages 6 and 8. She had an emergency hysterectomy in theater and was off work only two days.

“My husband and sons met me when I got home and all I wanted was a salad,” said Branson. “We went to the Olive Garden. My husband said, ‘Never again, Ginger, never again!’ I went into the Army Reserves after Desert Storm.”

Branson joined the army in 1976 assigned to the 75th Field Hospital but attached to the 121st ARCOM.

She worked most summers in medical support of the Corps of Engineers or doing MEDRETEs in South and Central America.

“I loved working in South America caring for the indigenous people,” said Branson. “I was always the charge nurse being the highest ranking nurse there. I remember one woman walked two days to get three toothbrushes for her family. We were out and I went around the unit and collected unused airline toothbrushes. She wept when I gave them to her.”

Branson retired in 2002 from the 75th Combat Support Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“The best advice I ever received was when I received my retirement papers,” said Branson. “I was told to get involved with vets and took the advice.”

Today Branson works tirelessly for fellow veterans as: Adjutant, Post 911 of the American Legion; member of the VFW, Kelly Ingram Post; Life Member MOAA, secretary of the Greater Birmingham Chapter; parliamentarian of the Blue Star Salute Foundation, Inc.; member of the Support Committee Alabama National Cemetery; Life Member of AMVETS; docent Alabama Veterans Memorial Park; American Legion representative for the V.A. Hospital Advisory Committee; member of Flag Disposal Team; counselor and nurse for American Legion Leadership Camp; judge and timekeeper for district oratorical contests; nurse for Avondale United Methodist Church.

Branson has spent her life serving her nation in active duty and fellow veterans in retirement.

She recently volunteered at the Blue Star Salute in Mobile with the BSSFI and SCALNC.

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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