Recognizing veterans in HSC’s School of Health Professions
Today, and every day, we are proud to recognize the faculty, staff and students of the School of Health Professions who have answered the selfless call to serve as health care providers and in their country’s military.
We commend and celebrate the patriotism, sacrifices and selfless service of all veterans.
Glenn Forister, PhD, PA-C, dean of the School of Health Professions, served as a member of the Medical Specialty Corps in the U.S. Army/Army Reserve from 2000 to 2008.
“The Physician Assistant profession has deep military roots,” Forister said. “The first three PAs served as Navy hospital corpsmen. I am humbled by the honorable service of so many of my fellow PAs, including our PA faculty members: Dr. Jeff Mott (Army), Dr. Vic Holmes (Air Force) and Dr. Vincent Antunez (Army).”
Second-year physical therapy student and president of HSC’s Physical Therapy Student Association, Edgar Franco joined the United States Air Force in 2008 as a military policeman. He served for seven years with one tour in Iraq in 2010. In 2015, he answered his second call to service in his next journey pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science.
“I decided to pursue my DPT at HSC since their values coincided quite closely with what the Air Force taught me,” he said. “Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do — this, along with wanting to continue to help others in a setting that was outside of the first responder role.”
Vic Holmes, PA-C, MPAS, EdD
Dr. Vic Holmes served in the Air Force for more than 22 years, beginning in back in 1988. He started as an optometry technician and eventually was accepted to the Tri-Service Interservice Physician Assistant Program. He graduated as a PA in 2000 with a commission as a second lieutenant and eventually achieve the rank of major.
“I worked in family medicine, flight medicine, and occupational medicine,” he said. “I eventually became a medical instructor and when I retired in 2010. I looked for a program near home to continue teaching in the civilian sector. The “family” feel of the faculty and staff drew me to work here and the incredible atmosphere of innovation has maintained my interest.”
Dustin Kunz, M.Div. and current physician assistant student joined the United States Marine Corps while in college because he wanted to help people, and he’s calm and comfortable in chaos.
“After my deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I spent almost a decade in church work and nonprofit, teaching leadership at Baylor University and working on issues of hunger and poverty through both project management and public policy,” he said. “I did this while coaching health and fitness in my spare time, again because I wanted to help, and I am comfortable in chaos.
“As a PA who hopes to work in acute care, I hope to again leverage my passion for helping people and calm comfort in chaos to help people.”
John Molstad, a physician assistant student, started his military career in 2003 with the 184th Air Refueling Wing as a KC-135R aircraft mechanic “crew chief.”
“Our wing was converted to a special intelligence wing in 2008, and I spent a year in intelligence,” he said. “In July of 2008, I applied to be a flight engineer with the 139th Airlift Wing, 180th Airlift Squadron with C-130H aircraft and was selected. I left for training in October of 2008 and finished training a year later.
“During that time, I became an instructor and took on more leadership roles. Before resigning from my full-time position, I was the non-commissioned officer In charge of aircrew training. I am still in the Missouri National Guard and will hit my 20-year mark in February. To my knowledge, I am the only deployable student on campus, as I am going to continue my flying career rather than transitioning to the medical side.
“As for being a PA, it was something I always wanted to do,” he continued. “My father is a PA, and I finally decided that if I didn’t try, I was going to be miserable and regret at least not seeing if I could get in. The passion was there, the work ethic was there and, more importantly, there is a need for PAs in rural areas. That is one of the biggest motivators for me — I want to work in the small towns because they deserve good health care just as much as anyone.”
Gary Pina, a third-year physical therapy student, served 22 years in the United States Army as an artillery officer.
“I deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003, 2005 and 2010,” he said. “All of my deployments were with the 101st Airborne Division, Air Assault. I then came to HSC because I was impressed with the type of students that they were looking for to join their PT program.”