Aaron and Rachel Disney. Photo submitted
When I first began to think about and write the following article, my mind was set on doing something patriotic since Memorial Day has passed and Independence Day is approaching.
It is important that we as Americans take stock of our freedoms and to consciously thank the men and women who served and continue to serve in uniform.
My story literally changed course after talking with a couple, Aaron and Rachel Disney, whom I have grown to admire. They served our country with honor. His service included a 12-month tour in Iraq. She advanced to the rank of captain. He ended his military service as a sergeant.
Now civilians, married and living in Murfreesboro, their story continues to be dedicated to service unto others although the uniform is different.
Rachel, 32, was born and reared in nearby Bedford County. She had dreams of being either a veterinarian or an attorney and even earned a degree in Criminal Justice from MTSU. Along the way, she decided to pursue a military career -- to the chagrin of some family members. That resulted in earning officer status through the university’s ROTC program.
Aaron, also 32, believes that their lives came together through Providence, which definitely included the military. He is a native of Greenback, Tenn. His path began as a farm boy in East Tennessee who became a volunteer fireman and later an Emergency Medical Technician.
He also felt a call to be a minister. His spiritual resolve is like a thread that has been woven through a standout college baseball player, an airplane pilot and now a flight paramedic.
She has returned to getting a Masters Degree within the next year toward starting a career in the field of mental health. All of this came about as the result of what her eyes saw while helping others in the military.
Aaron admits that he is a person who just cannot sit and twiddle his thumbs. He must stay busy and seek new challenges. One of his passions is cooking. He has thoughts of someday being a chef and even owning his own restaurant, but that is for another day.
Right now he is knee-deep in a rewarding career with Air Evac, a company that has more than 100 helicopters and operates in 17 states. He is based in nearby Manchester. Rarely are two days the same. He may be airlifting a trauma patient to Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga or Huntsville. The next day he may be helping a patient whose life is gripped by what could be a fatal disease.
Aaron says that each situation is obviously different. I asked him to recall an experience that touched him to the point that he will never forget. He responded, “In my profession, a person literally sees almost everything. And for self-preservation, I have to handle that emotionally and spiritually.”
“Underneath this, we have hearts that are burdened for the ones who suffer. There is one instance that has always had a special place in my heart and it encompasses a broad range of emotions going from the worst to the best.”
“I responded to a two-vehicle crash in which it was reported there was one person injured. Before arriving, the fire department had already reported to me on the radio that our patient was very critical. My mind began pre-planning for different situations I would be encountering.
“Little did I know there was nothing that my mind could prepare me for what was about to happen. I arrived on the scene to find the fire department personnel rapidly cutting a woman from the vehicle. As I first looked at the lady, my initial instincts were that nothing could be done.”
“A fireman yelled that he could see her belly and she was pregnant. They continued to cut on the vehicle and within a few minutes removed her. I had never done CPR on someone that I knew could not be saved, but the CPR was not for the mother but for the baby.”
“After arriving at the hospital and being taken directly to a surgery ward the doctors were able to deliver the baby. Although three weeks early, followed by an extensive stay in the Neonatal ICU, this child would survive.”
“Every Paramedic works under the license of a Medical Director. These physicians enable us to work by standing orders, written protocols and by interacting with us verbally as needed. I have been fortunate to have worked under two of the best, Dr. Alan Romans and Dr. Scott Giles, but they can’t hold a light to the Devine Physician I work under.”
“I am glad God is in control and I am thankful that He has placed me in the role of a paramedic. I just want to serve Jesus in all that I do.”