Keir Darcey recently returned to his position as a respiratory therapist at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital after serving a 14-month tour of duty with his unit in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, including an 11-month deployment to Afghanistan.
His fellow employees at the hospital were eager to welcome him back.
This was the seventh time, Master Sergeant Darcey had been ordered to active duty for the federal government since his employment at Mary Lane Hospital in 1998. His previous federal activations included performing medical duties in Bosnia, 2001-02; augmenting base security at Westover Air Force Base, 2002-04; and a return to the Balkans as a medic in Kosovo, 2006-07. Darcey has also been activated several times for U.S. based emergencies, including Hurricane Katrina relief operations in 2005.
“I’ve been in the Army since I was 17 and I’m still in after 24 years of service,” said Darcey. “I was in Panama at the beginning of 1990, and then was deployed to Iraq later that year.”
After serving almost four years as a medic with the 82d Airborne Division, Darcey completed the Army’s respiratory therapy program. Discharged from active duty at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Darcey has worked at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital for 14 years while continuing to serve the country in the Army National Guard.
“For a variety of reasons, it is wonderful to have Keir back at the hospital, it means that he is home and safe for his family,” said Chad Mullin, Director, Diagnostic Services. “It is his duty to serve his country, and we are honored and delighted to welcome him back to the hospital family, because of his quality and passionate approach to patient care.”
Darcey said he is excited to return home and to his work at the hospital. “I really appreciate the amount of support the staff has given me. When I’m ordered to report for a mission, it helps to know that my co-workers will be covering our department 24-hours-a-day during my absence.”