KSLA Salutes: the Navy veteran turned doctor of education dedicated to service
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Shreveport-native David Williams II, EdD has dedicated his life to serving others; The Navy veteran been the Executive Officer to the Associate Director at Overton Brooke VA Hospital for the last year.
“The job entails being a part of the executive leadership team, working with the services that fall under the Associate Director,” Williams said. “Helping them out with anything they might need as far as HR actions, helping with overall staffing, just coordinating between the services and the executive leadership team. My favorite part about the job is that every day is a new challenge. I learn something new every single day so there is never a dull moment. Trying to enhance the veteran experience and the employee experience. Working with VISN, working with national and working with a great group of individuals here at the facility. It’s truly a pleasure. I’m excited to get up and come to work every day.”
Williams served eight years in the United States Navy as a dental technician and was stationed in several areas, including Illinois, California and North Carolina.
“It was amazing being stationed as a Navy dental technician on a Marine Corps base,” Williams said. “It was a little shock to my system, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. You have to definitely earn your place and you have to make sure that they can trust you. As far as dental technicians and hospital corpsmen, we provide medical care to Marines in battle, so they need to know they can trust you and know you will save their lives, pull them to safety. It was a little bit of a culture change going from the Navy to the Marines but I loved every minute of it. I had the opportunity deploy with them to Spain. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.”
Overton Brooks VA Hospital states Williams has several accolades and has been merited awards including the Navy and Marine Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
He says his service has helped him tremendously with his job today.
“Being a veteran myself and working with veterans is an amazing experience,” Williams said. “We, as veterans, speak a different language. I have the opportunity to take those experiences that I learned in the military and apply them to veterans here because I speak the same language as them. I know what they went through. Signing up to serve your country was an opportunity of the world to me. Just going through the trials and tribulations of boot camp, getting to your first duty station, it’s not always easy. Different people have different perspectives, but knowing that we all went through the same thing regardless of the branch of service that you were in, it’s a brotherhood or sisterhood. I know exactly what you wen through and you know exactly what I went through so being able to come here to the facility and provide healthcare to people who are your brothers and sisters, it just makes it a little bit easier.”
Williams says his father served as well; He says growing up in a home with a Vietnam veteran has also given him a unique perspective and helped him in his work.
His dedication also led him to be one of the first Black men to graduate as a Doctor of Education from Louisiana State University Shreveport in 2019. According to Overton Brooks VA Hospital, he earned his doctorate by successfully defending his dissertation entitled; The Moderating Effect of Perceived Organizational Support on the Relationship Between Transformational Leadership and Affective Commitment to Organizational Change in U.S. Healthcare Organizations.
“Earning my degree from Louisiana State University Shreveport was one of the most challenging, but also one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done in my life,” Williams said. “It’s not easy, but I am very proud that I was able to achieve it. It was important for me to do it because it was a lifelong goal of mine and it also gave me the opportunity to show others that you can do anything you want as long as you are willing to work for it. There were plenty of days I remember sitting there doing homework with my son watching me. That’s something I think left a long-lasting impression on him. Being able to take those things I learned LSUS and bringing them back to the facility to apply them is just priceless. I’m blessed, honored and grateful for the opportunity.”
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