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Military Blood Runs in the Family

Posted: January 31, 2019

Nursing Director to be Honorary Commander

When Tracey Clifton, R.N., director of  medical/surgical services at NorthBay Healthcare is inducted as an honorary commander at Travis Air Force Base next month, it will be another in a long line of military achievements for her family.

For starters, Tracey joined the Air Force in 1994, after graduating from nursing school. Her first duty was at Travis Air Force Base, where she spent five years at David Grant Medical Center in the medical-surgical division and worked as a preceptor with the nursing transition program.

After she separated from the Air Force, she continued to work at David Grant, as manager of civilian nurses, before joining NorthBay Healthcare in 2002.

Of her four children — two boys and two girls — she knew her younger son, Connor, 20,  wanted to join the military; he had talked about it his whole life, she said. But it was her older son, Cody, 22, who surprised her by joining the Marines.

“He wanted to get married, and would eventually like to get into law enforcement. He started talking to a recruiter last year, and then next thing we know, he’s reporting for boot camp in San Diego,” she said. He’s now in military police school in Missouri.

Connor earned his associate’s degree in criminal justice and then signed up with the Navy, where he’s a Seaman/Hospital man based at Whiting Field Naval Air Station in Milton, Fla. His goal is to one day be attached to a Marines unit as a medic.

Although neither pursued the Air Force, she thinks her experience definitely influenced them.

“I think they heard me say how my military experience gave me a good foundation for life and leadership skills,” she said.

Although she’s familiar with Travis Air Force Base and David Grant Medical Center, she’s excited to see how much has changed in the last 16 years.

She is one of about two dozen community leaders selected to pair up with a commander at Travis Air Force Base. She has been partnered with Lt. Col. Beth Dion, commander of the 60th Inpatient Operations Squadron.

The honorary commander’s program was developed to encourage and exchange ideas, experiences, and friendships between key members of the civilian community and the base’s military community.

NorthBay has long participated in the program. In the past, President and CEO Konard Jones and NorthBay Healthcare Group President Aimee Brewer have both served as honorary commanders.