Honoring Our Veterans: Jose Collazo-Perez

November 14, 2016 by   |   Leave a Comment

Jose Collazo-Perez

X-Ray Technologist, Nuclear Medicine
Army 1997-2006

When I enlisted I didn’t have formal training of any kind; I learned everything in the U.S. Army. I was in the medical field the whole time I was in service. I began as an X-ray technologist and then reenlisted for Nuclear Medicine. I worked in the military hospitals and took care of the soldiers and their families.

I was stationed in Hawaii, Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington, and Germany. I trained at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in D.C. and at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

The most memorable thing I did was when I was in Germany. The Middle East was in turmoil, and, besides doing Nuclear Medicine, my job was to help bring in the injured soldiers. The soldiers were flown into Germany and transported to the hospital in buses. Our mission was called Manpower. We took the soldiers out of the buses, put them on stretchers, and brought them into the ho spital. I was never deployed, Jose Collazo-Perez_Vet Picbut this was my chance to be in some type of action.

Hawaii was significant to me as well. I was part of a tri-service type of training where we set up a field hospital with a perimeter, like we were in actual combat. We worked with mannequins at this point because it wasn’t real combat. We had drills where they would announce over the system what was going on, and people would get up, put their chemical suits on, and head over to the hospital to deal with mass casualties. It was extremely good training.

When I first enlisted, I was a different type of person. I can’t really explain it, but you come in with a different mindset. Then the military rounds you, shapes you. It gives you an inner strength you didn’t have before. It made me into the technologist I am today.

When I got out of the military, I began applying for jobs in different locations. My wife was living in Charlottesville at the time, and she told me UVA was looking for personnel. So I came in and they were looking for help in Nuclear Medicine. I applied in 2006 and have been here ever since.

I like working for UVA because the care here is really, really good. And I’m not biased when I say that; I’ve worked in some of the best military hospitals. On top of that, I love Charlottesville. It’s beautiful. I’ve been in Charlottesville working for UVA for 10 years now, and I don’t want to go anywhere else.


Comments (1)

  1. Nick Koekkoek says:

    You’re the best Jose. We love you!

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