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Murkowski Honors “New Veteran,” Student Advocate Nichole Tovar

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski is releasing her 7th Veteran Spotlight installment today, featuring Nichole Tovar, a U.S. Army veteran who served as a nurse in the Baghdad Green Zone and continues her service in the U.S. Army Reserves, as well as being a proud advocate and representative for young veterans of our current conflicts.

Nichole Tovar grew up in Palmer, Alaska, and joined the Army as soon as she turned 18.  During her Veteran Spotlight interview she recalls a powerful draw to do something meaningful for her country. After completing basic training, Tovar continued her Army training to become a Licensed Practical Nurse.  She deployed to Iraq in 2004 and served at the 31st Combat Support Hospital, where she cared for seriously injured Iraqi detainees.

“I am so proud of all our veterans.  A lot of people in the civilian world think that we all suffer from PTSD and have emotional issues, and that’s not the case” said Nichole Tovar.  “We are not broken people.  We are a generation of young, highly trained professionals that can take on anything you ask.  We wear our wounds internally, but we keep driving on.  Our experience as soldiers adds to us and makes us stronger.  There is nothing we can’t do.”

After serving four years of active duty, Tovar joined the Army Reserves and took advantage of the GI Bill at the University of Alaska, Anchorage where she is president of Student Veterans of UAA. Tovar earned her Associates Degree in Culinary Arts and will complete her degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management in early 2014.  Tovar currently serves on Anchorage’s Military and Veteran Affairs Commission and is dedicated to helping yesterdays warriors become today’s scholars and tomorrow’s leaders.

“Nichole’s story highlights the experience of a woman in today’s Army,” said Senator. Murkowski.  “This is a new generation of soldier who is serving our nation bravely, then coming home and making meaningful contributions to the civilian world too.  We owe it to veterans like Nichole Tovar to honor them through sharing their stories, and we owe it to the rest of us to learn from the high levels of patriotism, commitment and service they demonstrate for us.”

The “Veteran Spotlight” project is Senator Murkowski’s monthly focus on an Alaska veteran of conflicts worldwide to honor and draw well-deserved attention to Alaska’s men and women who served.  Today’s installment is the seventh in the series that began on Memorial Day weekend of 2012.  Every month, Murkowski posts a biography and an interview with an Alaskan, in conjunction with the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.  You can watch them all by clicking here.

Senator Murkowski invites all Alaskans to nominate a veteran from the 49th state to be featured in the Veteran Spotlight project.  If you have a family member or friend in the community you think has a story to share, email Spotlight@Murkowski.Senate.Gov.

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