McAdams returns home from navy duty

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Navy reservist Linde McAdams was plucked from her job as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner at the clinic of Doctors Fitz-Gerald and Perret in March and sent to serve her country stateside during the conflict with Iraq.

It was hard for our friends and our family who were not exposed to the military lifestyle. "They almost panicked around here," she said. "Military service to them is the green suits in the desert. They don’t realize there is so much support going on."

McAdams returned in July from duty at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, filling in for personnel at the facility who were sent to serve in Kuwait.

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She has served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years. Her current rank is lieutenant, but she expects a promotion next month to lieutenant commander. She serves with a Tuscaloosa detachment.

McAdams was sent to the Pensacola hospital on March 10 and went through the process of being moved from reservist to regular Navy. It was the first time she had been pulled from the reserve ranks, although members of the detachment work in the same hospital for two weeks of reserve duty. "We walked right in the door and went to work," she said.

Unlike the paperwork at the Demopolis clinic, she said the Naval hospital is "completely computerized….You’re just glued to that thing all day long." There is not such a need for a nursing staff, McAdams said. "(In Pensacola) I did much more of my own management, where as here I see patients and take care of them, and the nurses do much more of the management. I like that better."

The group that served in Kuwait from the Pensacola hospital returned home in late June. Was there a chance that McAdams would be sent overseas? "No and yes," she said. "With 23 years in the Navy, they said ‘you’ve been activated and you’ll go to Pensacola.’ But, until they gave me a room and a desk, I never was confident because anything can change."

However, "I don’t have that specialized training" to go overseas. She didn’t know how long it would take to be trained for overseas duty.

Does she like the idea of being plucked out of her job to serve? She said she knew what to do in Pensacola. The four members of the Tuscaloosa detachment were able to maintain the promise of medical care to the retirees and dependents in the Pensacola hospital. There were also other reservists from all over the Southeast who also served at the facility.

McAdams grew up in northern Minnesota.

She is married to Bill McAdams, and they have John, Mary Scarlet and Michael. The couple moved to Demopolis three years ago after living in Tuscaloosa for 14 years.

Away from her busy work, she performs as part of the Demopolis Singers and the choir at St. Leo’s Catholic Church. She is also a member of the local Silhouette Club.

McAdams loves the small town atmosphere of Demopolis. "It’s easy to live here."