Meet Darlene O’Baner

Veterans Day Spotlight

Meet Darlene O’Baner, military veteran and Academic Services Assistant II for the School of Nursing, Health and Natural Sciences.

O’Baner served in the Army for 21 years and 6 months, achieving the rank of Sergeant First Class (E-7). Her last location of service was Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where she worked as a Medical Training NCO in the 345th Medical Detachment. O’Baner says that she joined the military for the training and educational opportunities it offered as well as the opportunity to travel.

More specifically, O’Baner chose the Army because it is the branch from which her father retired. Many of her other family members were in the military too. Her son and cousin served in the Marines, and two of her uncles and another cousin served during the Vietnam era.

O’Baner has been awarded with seven medals including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal 2nd Award, Army Good Conduct Medal 3rd Award, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (ARCOM), National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal (Oklahoma City Bombing 1995) and Armed Forces Reserve Medal (AFRM).

Although O’Baner says some of her most memorable moments in the military centered on her travels (she got to visit Japan and Korea), she also appreciates the relationships she formed in the military. According to her, the people she met were like family, and they spent a lot of recreational time together. Even though she has been retired for 20 years, she still maintains contact with many of the members of her military family.

Now, O’Baner has been at Gordon for 14 years and uses her experience as a Training NCO and Certified Medic in her work in the Department of Nursing Health and Natural Sciences. At the end of the day, she says that she is still a soldier at heart and cries whenever she hears the song “Proud to be an American.”