Colebrook medic and registered nurse named Veteran of the Month by state senator [Register Citizen]

August 3, 2015

Torrington Register Citizen

COLEBROOK – An Air Force medic and registered nurse has been named Veteran of the Month for August by state Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-8.

Leah D. Ward, a Colebrook resident, has served for over 22 years in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army Reserves and Connecticut Air National Guard as a medic and registered nurse.

“Leah has served our nation proudly helping fellow service men and women most in need,” Witkos said in a release. “Working as a military medic and nurse can be a very stressful and high-pressure job, but it is also an extremely critical and vital role. Leah has dedicated her life to saving lives. I applaud her bravery, strength and selflessness.”

Ward was born in York, Pennsylvania, in May 1975. At 18 years old, Ward decided to join the Army Reserves while in college.
“I had a sense of adventure,” said Ward in the release. “Somehow, that’s turned into 22 years of service, and I’ve loved every minute of it.”

She served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1993-2000, U.S. Air Force Reserves from 2000-2013 and Connecticut Air National Guard from 2013 to present. From 1993-2000 Ward worked as a medic, and then she worked as a registered nurse since 2000. She was commissioned in 2001 as a second lieutenant and promoted to major just before leaving for service in Germany in 2010.

“I took great pride in serving the many that had combat related injuries,” said Ward.

In a video interview with Witkos, she described that as a nurse, she always felt extremely lucky and privileged to care for people who sustained injuries during their course of service.

“It was extremely humbling and always something I loved to do,” she said. “Many of those folks were extremely inspiring to meet.”

Ward was deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom to Kuwait in 2004-2005 to process patients being aero-medically evacuated for treatment. In 2010 she worked in Germany receiving patients from Iraq and Afghanistan to further care for their return to a home station for treatment.

Ward is the recipient of many decorations including the Air Force Achievement medal, Global War on Terror and Global War on Terror-Expeditionary honors.

Commitment to community service is also important to Ward. Since 2006, Ward has served at junior vice commander of VFW Post 296 in Winsted. She has also dedicated her time as a bagpiper for Police Pipes and Drums of Waterbury, arranging cemetery cleanups for Revolutionary War era cemeteries in poor condition and providing law enforcement support for funerals, celebrations, fundraisers and other ceremonies. After military service, Ward worked as a visiting nurse and is now in school to become a nurse practitioner.

Leah lives in Colebrook with her husband, Master Sergeant Daniel Ward, USMCR, and their two boys, Walter, 7, and Henry, 3.
Ward’s full story and a video interview can be found on

Witkos’ “Veteran of the Month” program features the stories of local veterans each month through text and video. Each story highlights the veteran’s unique experiences and acts of service. To nominate a local veteran to be a “Veteran of the Month,” contact Christopher F. Diorio at the Connecticut Senate Republican Office by calling 860-240-8801 or emailing [email protected].