Doris M. Jones
Doris M. Jones was born and raised in Waterloo, a small town nestled among the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. Her hometown is credited with beginning the observance of Memorial Day. Her parents were entrepreneurs who also dabbled in the experimental farming field in collaboration with Cornell University. This was in addition to raising their three children. As a child, Doris was a tomboy who loved the outdoors. After high school, she decided to follow in the footsteps of several family members by entering the medical field. She moved to Miami to live with relatives and began nursing school.
While in school, she had a friend who was also a nurse and was in the Army Reserve. Doris attended a couple of meetings and made the decision to join the Army. She entered at the age of 22 and began her work as a registered nurse, mostly with severely burned combat victims. She was involved in cutting edge research while working at Brook Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Their team was involved with the reconstruction of the burn victims returning from the war in Vietnam.
Working in this field proved to be very stressful. To cope, her commanding general allowed the staff to ride horses to blow off steam. She decided to buy a horse, a red and white Paint Quarter horse named Sugar Foot, and would ride at night with her coworkers. Sugarfoot was trained in English and western disciplines of riding. Although Doris rode western, she leased Sugarfoot out for English lessons and used the money to pay her stable fees.
Doris’ nursing career with the Army spanned over 20 years. She dedicated over 12 years of service on active duty and eight as a reservist. Her work took her around the U.S., including Hawaii, and overseas to Germany. She only enjoyed her retirement for two short weeks before she was offered a position as the RN aboard a cruise ship. She enjoyed her new civilian career sailing to exotic locations such as the Bahamas and Mexico. On every port of call that she was off duty, she would go snorkeling and scuba diving, a hobby she picked up while stationed in Hawaii. Her diving adventures even took her on shark feeding dives. Once the cruise ships started getting larger and handling more people, Doris decided that her ten-year run as a cruise ship nurse would end.
Retired again, she settled in the Florida Keys and worked part time as a summer camp nurse for the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. During her time off, she continued her lifelong love of the outdoors by canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, and diving. She was working as a nurse for an American Legion camp when she came to the Mississippi Gulf Coast on a casino junket. She toured AFRH-G while she was in the area and eventually decided to relocate to the Home.
Doris moved to AFRH-G only a couple of months before Hurricane Katrina devastated the area. She relocated with most of the other residents to AFRH-W and enjoyed life in DC until the home in Gulfport reopened. Although she is retired, she stays extremely active in the home and out in the community. At the Home, she enjoys art classes, tournaments, poetry readings, and more. She's an active member of the MWR Committee and the RAC. She also dedicates time to finding fun trips for the residents with limited mobility. She stays active in the community with her involvement in garden clubs and as a Boy Scout Troop Leader. Most impressively, Doris continues her quest as a lifelong learner by earning CEUs (continuing education unit) to keep up her RN certification. She also attends a variety of classes offered at local colleges. Each year during Nurses Week, she is actively involved in festivities to honor and recognize the nursing staff working at AFRH-G. Doris’ dedication to the field of nursing is second to none. Her volunteer work is a shining example of selflessness.