Navy veteran finds niche in nursing

Jorge Vasquez hung up his U.S. Navy uniform this past spring for good, and since August of 2020, he’s been docked at CPS Energy.

Today, we shine the light on him as we continue our series featuring a few of the nearly 300 military veterans working for our utility.

Answering the call to serve

A native San Antonian, Jorge graduated from Fox Tech High School before he set sail with the U.S. Navy in 2010. While he knew that the Armed Forces would allow him to grow personally and professionally, it was “a calling to serve” his country that drew him to the military.

Jorge served as a Hospital Corpsman, the first line of medical personnel to triage and treat injured Sailors and Marines in both clinical and tactical situations. Among his assignments, he worked at one of the largest Naval Medical Centers in San Diego, where he gained valuable clinical experience. He ultimately decided to pursue a degree in nursing.

“I did everything from providing basic treatment like taking vital signs, medication administration and starting IV infusions to comprehensive treatment like assessing burns, proper placement of tourniquets and wound management.”

Serving takes a toll

While most of the injuries Jorge treated were not life-threatening, he personally witnessed and felt the toll of being in the Armed Forces.

“It was difficult to see and treat injured service members, especially because so many of them were very young,” said Jorge, recounting that he had a 19-year-old roommate in Corpsman School who had his life tragically cut short when he was killed just a month into his deployment. 

Jorge with his wife and daughter

“It was a constant reminder of how short life can be every time I would see another young Sailor or Marine come in for treatment or surgery,” he said. “But then I would speak with these wounded warriors and see their resilience; they didn’t want anyone to feel pity for them. They simply adapted and made the best of their circumstances. It really puts a lot of things in perspective and helps me to be more appreciative of life.”

As a Hospital Corpsman or “doc” as their fellow service members call them, Jorge also helped prepare and train Sailors stateside and even abroad in Japan on surgery techniques and fabrication of prosthetic appliances used to treat medical issues caused by disease or trauma.

A passion for putting People First!

Jorge graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and Master’s in business administration. He spent a decade in the Armed Forces – five years in the Navy and another five in the Navy Reserve – helping injured service members and sharing his knowledge and experience with others. He’s on a similar course in his role as a Registered Nurse in our Occupational Health area, one among a handful of critical positions filled since the COVID-19 pandemic. Jorge assists with employee injuries, helps implement CPR and first aid training, and works every day to ensure the safest possible environment for employees.

Additionally, the Occupational Health group conducted all of the employee screenings during the early stages of the pandemic in our city. The company later created a COVID-19 response team that, among other duties, is now handling the screenings. Jorge frequently assists the response team with answering COVID-related calls and questions.

“I feel this pandemic has highlighted the resilience of our company, our community and our country. We consistently look at ways we can improve, pivot in a better direction and help people in need regardless of what we are facing,” he said. “This is not unlike what we do in the military — helping and protecting those in need against all enemies, foreign or domestic. What is different is the enemy we face. In our current climate, the enemy happens to be invisible to the eye, a tiny virus.”

Jorge noted that he’s proud to work for a company that strives to help those in our community impacted by the virus, emphasizing the numerous programs we have available to help our employees and their families, and our customers. “It makes me proud to come to work every day and be part of a team that’s striving to achieve our mission of People First in all we do,” he said.

Along with his CPS Energy family, Jorge has a wife, Dulce Maria Lara, and one daughter, Lucia Alejandra Vasquez.

Thank you, Jorge, and all U.S. military veterans for your dedication and commitment to serving our great nation!

Pam Maris

Pam is part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.