Announcing New Mexico Financial & Family Law Veterans’ Scholarship Winner: Briauna Greenwood
The impact of serving in the U.S. Armed Forces goes well beyond the life of the person who served. It also affects the others they helped during their service, and the lessons they brought back to the family and friends they surrounded themselves with once their service was complete.
Briauna Greenwood’s story is emblematic of that second category of those affected positively by a life dedicated to military service. Her father was a Navy man, who served in a variety of operations all throughout the world — encompassing West Pakistan, Hong Kong, Australia, and South Korea — and on a number of notable vessels, including the USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3).
While Briauna’s father retired from the Navy before she was born, his experiences codified his values, which he lovingly passed down to his daughter, and sole child. From him, she learned the value of responsibility, hard work, and dedicating yourself to the things you care about most. That meant being tough but also having a heart you were willing to share with others to get by in this world. Briauna now works as a registered nurse and is studying to become a family nurse practitioner, inspired in part by her father’s hard work as a Navy petty officer, and a firefighter EMT.
We at New Mexico Financial & Family Law are in awe of the love that clearly shines through Briauna’s words and the strength of the person that inspired them. We hope our scholarship fund can help make her transition into a FNP easier and help her continue in the tradition of a family that gives it all when they commit to caring for others.
Growing up in a Navy House Meant Structure, But Also Support
Briauna makes it clear that her father’s service ended long before her own story began — before he even met her mother and decided to bring her into this world. Yet, her father’s experiences in the Navy had an indelible effect on his outlook and approach to life.
It was likely this service that drew him to start a career as a firefighter-EMT immediately after his retirement from the Navy. He would work long shifts, sometimes late into the night, assisting victims and lending medical aid to those in their deepest moments of need.
When it come time to have his first and only child, he took an approach that no doubt was instilled in him by his service: no half-measures.
“My father is a tough man to begin with,” Briauna told us, “and being that I am his only child/daughter, he sure raised me strictly.”
Briauna was given household chores and other duties, even at a young age, and she was taught to always say “please” and “thank you” and to treat others with respect.
Her most important lessons, though, were in the unmistakable compassion she received and the encouragement to put her “soul into everything.” Because of these lessons, Briauna says she clearly knows “my rights and wrongs, along with boundaries that keep me in shape and in line.”
The service of her father both in the Navy and as an EMT, “truly gave me direction in what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” says Briauna.
She recalls how his support all but wiped away her fears of going away to college after graduating high school:
“When I went away to college for my bachelor’s degree, I was so scared and anxious to start a life somewhere new and away from my parents. My father was there every step of the way from my acceptance letter to helping me pack all my belongings and driving across the state. He then told me how nervous he was going into the Navy when he was 18 and how worried he was being away from his family. My first semester at undergraduate school was definitely tough but having my father a phone call (or 3-hour drive) seemed to make things okay.”
The support and lessons given by her father were a direct inspiration in Briauna pursuing a career in medicine as a nurse.
Following the Patient Story to a Happy Conclusion
One of the biggest motivators in Briauna’s decision to enter the field of healthcare was her father’s experiences as an EMT. When sharing them, he gave her the full story — no punches pulled. That meant that not every story had a happy outcome.
“My dad told me stories about the people he had saved and unfortunately, the people he lost.”
One of the hardest things for him was that, even with those he had saved that day, he never knew what happened next.
“I remember him telling me stories that had no ending because they dropped them off at the ER and that was it.”
As a registered nurse, she encountered a similar experience.
“As an RN, I am with these patients 12-13 hours a day, take care of their every need, and then I go home and the next shift I work I might not ever see those patients again,” she lamented.
When she becomes a family nurse practitioner, she finally gets to follow the patients’ stories as she becomes their primary health care provider. From evaluation to diagnosis to ordering tests to prescribing medicine, she’ll be able to close the loop and care for patients she’ll hopefully see again and again.
During her transition, she will no doubt continue to benefit from the stalwart and impassioned example cut into her memory by her father.
“I’d say he raised me to be a strong, independent woman that sticks to what she says she’s going to and holds herself accountable,” she said. And while her father’s patient stories had no apparent end, they motivated her to be there for her patients time and time again — because when you’re there for someone and you genuinely care, they will always remember.
New Mexico Financial & Family Law knows Briauna will inevitably achieve her goals and keep working hard, and we are forever touched and influenced by the profound story she has shared. Thank you for your words, your very-evident feelings, and for the service and dedication of your father, in the Navy, as an EMT, and as someone who raised an undeniably amazing and accomplished woman.