Wisconsin Veterans Museum

Oral History Interview with Leda Zoroghlian Patrick

Wisconsin Veterans Museum


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[INTERVIEW BEGINS] MALONE: Today is August 2nd, 2022. This is an interview with Leda Zoroghlian Patrick, who served in the United States Navy from 1986 to 1990. Leda entered service as Leda Zoroghlian. This interview is being conducted by Sarah Malone at Mrs. Zoroghlian Patrick's home in Hartland, Wisconsin, for the "I Am Not Invisible" project for the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Oral History Program. Kate Rowell is also present in the interview room. So, Leda, I think we just want to get started right away by telling me a little bit about where you grew up and your childhood.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Great. First of all, thank you for being here and letting me be part of this wonderful endeavor.

MALONE: Yes. Thank you for having us.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Absolutely. So, I grew up in, I was born in Venezuela. I was there for four years until we moved to Lebanon. That's the question, right? Where I grew up and everything?

MALONE: Any memories you have from these places, as well, would be great.


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, okay. We're Armenian diaspora, so my father and mother were born in Lebanon and in Damascus, but we were all born in Venezuela, but we're still Armenians. At the age of four, my father took us back to Lebanon in order to keep the Armenian heritage going. Unfortunately, a few years later, the war started, but when we went to Lebanon, I had to pass from speaking Armenian and Spanish to a school that taught Armenian, French, and Arabic. And so, that was kind of. It wasn't hard because I don't remember it being hard because I was too young. Right?

We stuck to the Armenian mostly, but in school we couldn't speak Armenian. It was French and Arabic. So we did four years of those languages and the war started, and then he took us back out from Lebanon, sent us to Argentina, back to Spanish, then off to Uruguay, back to Lebanon. So it was like running around 00:02:00all over the world.

Finally, we settled in Los Angeles where there was a large Armenian community, so we fit running. So now from French, Arabic, Spanish and Armenian, now we had to dive into the English language, which was hard at first, but of course, like anything you put your mind to it, you get through it.

MALONE: Going back to Venezuela and Lebanon, why had your family moved to Venezuela in the first place?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: We are Armenian diaspora. There was a massacre in 1915, the first massacre of the Armenian genocide, and my family had to cross all the desert. We lost all my family. Only my grandfather and my grandmother were alive, and so they started a new family. My mother's family started in Damascus, 00:03:00my father's in Lebanon. So after they grew up there, they wanted a better opportunity for their families.

They heard Venezuela was a good place. It was paradise, and it still is paradise, hell in paradise at the moment. They moved. They were extremely successful, my father was. He was a mechanic and worked in the American petrol company, and also afterwards, he did all, he was the person who got the contract from the government to recollect all the trash from the three major, so we did really well there.

But the business wasn't important for him. Important for him was the Armenian culture, and so he plucked us out and took us back to Lebanon. And that was difficult, because every time you move, you leave your friends. You leave a lot 00:04:00of memories, and you start a new language, and we did that for a few times.

MALONE: Yeah. During your time in Lebanon, what was life like there for you? Like what was that Armenian culture like and how does that influence you today?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, it's wonderful, so we are 100% Armenian. We speak Armenian at home. When we went to Lebanon, it was different, because of different places that Armenians live. So there are little differences, but not much. Venezuelan, Latin Armenians, and then Middle Eastern Armenians. So we encompass, my family, a little bit of all the Armenians, because of the moving around.

So in Lebanon is great, because you eat all you want. Everywhere you go you're given food, you're given candy, but you're also very protected as a woman, and you have liberties. We are not as strict as most Middle Eastern people. We have 00:05:00all kinds of liberties and everything, but as soon as you're eighteen, it's time to marry. They will bring people to drink coffee at home, mothers and you serve the coffee, and they look at you, and they say, "This is good for my son. He's very, he drives this." So I'm not very good at being a match for anybody. I like to pick my own matches, and that sort of, in teh future, as we go, is going to be why I decided to move on.

But the Armenian culture, Middle Eastern culture is fantastic.


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: There's a lot of friends, always with people. You can count 100% with everybody at all times, so you're never alone. So that's the good part of being Armenian and in the Middle East.


MALONE: Yeah. No, that's great. How many years were you in Lebanon for, and if you can just recall maybe what it was like when the war was starting, if you remember?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, absolutely. So, I was in Lebanon the first time for four years, then we came back for a year and a half, then I came back for another two years. I guess it all depends how your family handles things. My family handled it really well. "Oh, look at that. The bombs are falling. Oh, okay. Hey kids, why don't you come over here? And let's just hear, and if they didn't cut the electricity, let's watch some TV."

There is no going to shelters. Maybe you go once or twice, but then afterwards you just stay and watch TV and just pretend that nothing's happening. But you hear the bombs going, boom, boom, boom, boom, and you sort of get used to it. 00:07:00From a younger age, when the time when God is calling you home, that's what you learn. When time is right, then God is calling you home. And we just listen to the radio and see, "Oh, the bombs is falling here." So it was traumatic.

One time I was in school and the bombs started. I got, I stayed in school, and it turns out to be a fracture on my foot, but I didn't know that then. So my father took me home, and we have a hospital right across the street, and my mom's like, "Take her to the hospital", and he's like, "Nope, I'll fix it at home". Because the first place that they bombed is a hospital to get rid of the wounded, and he didn't want to take a chance to take me to the hospital, so he 00:08:00fixed my foot. He was pretty good, but like ten years later they took an x-ray and they says, "Oh, did you know that you have a fractured foot?" And I says, "Ah, so I did fracture it." So, that's the story.

MALONE: Wow. Okay. So then what was the point when your family decided to leave, and do you remember like how difficult of a decision maybe that was on the family?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yes. My father was involved politically in Lebanon, and one night he came in, rushing through the doors, "Come on, come on." It was midnight. "Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go." We all went downstairs, as we're told. We learned at a very early age to do exactly as we're told. "Let's go, let's go." I went downstairs. We got in the car. We're moving, we're leaving, and I looked up and a big flash came straight into my father and mother's bedroom and blew up the apartment. [Laughs] So we never went back to 00:09:00that apartment.

A week later, we were in an airplane off to, I think that was the time we went to Uruguay. Yeah. He then came to Uruguay with us, but he used to go back and forth and back and forth. We did see a close call. Thank goodness. My father was well informed and got us out in time.

MALONE: Yeah. It sounds like he was a great resource during that time. Very, very knowledgeable and just took care of his family very well.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, absolutely. He knew what was going on.

MALONE: Yeah. So then at what age did you move to Uruguay?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I was ten years old when I went to Uruguay. By then, I knew how to hunt, how to shoot every gun.

MALONE: So you were using guns at a pretty young age, or you had that experience?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, absolutely. My father took me hunting when I was seven, and I got my first bird on the air at seven. Nobody believed it, but I went looking for it and I got it.


MALONE: You were determined to get it?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. Yeah. I got it. So yeah, seven years old.

MALONE: So would you say hunting was pretty big experience, part of your childhood as well?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I love to hunt. That's what I used to do with my father, and play Backgammon. That's what I did, but for my experience in Uruguay, my friends, my Armenian community, the basketball team, the Armenian cultural dancing was playing on the street with my friends. With the freedom of not looking up in the sky or that something was going to happen, you know, or was dangerous. It was so quiet, Uruguay. It was paradise. I tend to think everywhere is paradise. Even Hartland is paradise for me. I love everywhere I go.

MALONE: That's great. Yeah. So then from Uruguay, where'd you go to next and around what age was that?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So from Uruguay, my sister decided, she got married a very young age, and she decided she wants to go to the United States. My aunt lived in Wisconsin and for many, many years, and so they went off to Wisconsin and then to California. And, my father missed her, and so she says, "Come on, you guys. We're going to go visit your sister." And that was it. We never went back to Uruguay.

I had my best friend take care of my ball. I said, "You took care of my ball, brand new. I'll be back for it." So I saw her thirty years later. I'm like, "Where's my ball?" She was like, "What ball?" "The ball I gave you." We still joke around it, so I said, "I'm going to give you your ball. You just come back and get it." Stuff like that.

Yeah, we just moved to California and stayed. And the way we stayed was towards citizenship, my father opened a gun shop. We gave employment to people. I guess 00:12:00the way to citizenship is, you have to invest so much money plus give employment, and after so many years you become green card holder, and then a citizen. And that was our way to citizenship.

MALONE: Yeah. Okay. Can you tell me a little bit more about all of these transitions, especially the one to the U.S., and what that adjustment was like in terms of language, in terms of culture, and were you able to find your. It sounds like you had pretty strong Armenian community everywhere you went.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yes. The Armenian diaspora is a good, so that's why the first three years that I was in the United States, I didn't speak a word of English because I was in Armenian school, and I got all awards for the best Armenian speaker, but never spoke English. Not one word, not one word, so I got plucked out and put into high school, regular high school. And so, I deviated from your question. What was your question?


MALONE: Just what the adjustment was like for you coming to the U.S. Obviously language would've been a big influence, but just what you remember from that experience.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: We're so used to adjusting that we don't even think about adjusting. We do make do with what we have, and like you said, Armenians have a community, and I ended up having my mother's best friend in Syria when they were like six moved right next to them, now adult, and their daughter became my best friend. And so we are still are, and we're meeting in Miami in a week. Since we're ten. So yeah, adjusting is easy for me. The Midwest is a little harder, but everywhere else is good. Yeah.


MALONE: When it came to learning English, I know you said you're good at adjusting, but what was that learning curve like?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Okay. That's an interesting curve, because when I got out of the Armenian school and into high school, there was no second. How do you say it here? As a second language? Nothing like that. I watched the Price is Right a lot and learned from television and all of that, the English, and then I joined the basketball team. I'm a great lover of basketball. So love basketball, every basketball team, and I was in the varsity basketball team in high school, and between my coach and my team, they taught me English. Yeah. They could have done a better job, but that's okay.


MALONE: No, I think they did a great job.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. I'm still in touch with them. They're wonderful.


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: But with regards to Wisconsin, I've been coming in and out of Wisconsin since I'm three years old.

MALONE: Wow. Okay.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. My father would drop me off in Wisconsin with my aunt, and then would pick me up three months later, so Wisconsin was like our second home. We were living in California, but Wisconsin is back and forth, back and forth.

MALONE: So did that add to any challenges with adjusting, because you're going from out west to the Midwestern culture, like you said, like Wisconsin might have been a little bit different? So you're kind of getting placed with these two very, although in the same country, different mannerisms.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: It's different. Yes, absolutely, different mannerisms.

MALONE: What do you remember about adjusting to Wisconsin at that point, and what you liked also about Wisconsin?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Wisconsin is the best. I live here in Hartland, and I have five parks around me. Kids bike there all by themselves. I've seen kids five 00:16:00years old with their bikes going to school. They're so disciplined at such an early age that it's. I just got goosebumps. I got goosebumps. They know. They say, "I'm going to be here." They go. They stay in school. They take their bike, they come straight home. Some of these kids are the ones that love to join the military, and they go off and sometimes they don't come back. And I've been going to church here for ten years and I've seen those kids join and thankfully all of them are good, but some of them, to think that something might happen to them, it's just heart wrenching. Just gives me. Yeah. I can't even talk about it, because you see them grow up and then they don't come back.

MALONE: So, where in Wisconsin was your aunt living?




ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. She started out in Hampton, in Milwaukee, but then she moved out to Pewaukee. Yeah. That's where everything started in the military actually.

MALONE: Oh, okay. Can you talk more about that?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh yeah, sure. So, the reason I joined the military was because my father died. He was the paternal. Everything is a patriarch. He says, we do. And when he died, my family scrambled. They didn't know what to do, so they decided why don't we go back to some place where it's comfortable for us, that we know it's familiar to us? So they decided to go back to Lebanon, and, well, I didn't want to go back to Lebanon. I wanted to stay home. The United States is my home.

I was old enough, I thought, to decide, and most probably I would've gone back and gotten married, which I was the terrible cook. I don't think I would've done 00:18:00a good wife. Anyway, I decided to stay in the United States. Of course, my family didn't know. So I came here to Wisconsin. They were preparing our passports to go to Lebanon, and I says, "Well, I'm not doing that. I got a job at a pharmacy." And I ran away from home.

And then I went back to Los Angeles, but thinking, "I'm going to join the military." And the reason I wanted to join the military is, right when my dad died, I was so frustrated that we're going to go back. I went to school, and that day comes a Marine to recruit, and he was just something else with his uniform, nice and tall and short haircut, and the way he walked, the honor, just the representation. He was the perfect representation of a military Marine. He 00:19:00spoke about it, and I decided, "That's me. That's what I want to do." I want to. I ate all that he said. I took it in, and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to be a Marine.

So as soon as I graduated, came here, things didn't work out. I went back, and I went straight into the office, and I went straight to the Marine office, and they were busy. Says, "Have a seat, we'll be right with you." "I will, wonderful." So I grabbed the magazine, and I looked, oh, it's a Marine with dirt on his face. He's dragging himself in the mud and everything's raining. I'm like, "Wow." And then I flipped the page over. Oh, the Navy, next to the sun, the beach, nice white uniform, everything so beautiful.


I says, "Why am I joining in the Marines? I'm joining the Navy." So I looked up, they were free. I went in, I says, "Hey, I want to join." "Come quick, take this test. Boom. You're in." And I couldn't believe it. It was faster than nothing. Did I know what I was getting myself into? I had no idea what I was getting, but it turned out to be the best days of my life.

MALONE: So, kind of going back to also why you were initially drawn to the military in the first place, and you talked a lot about Armenian culture and how you decided from there on out that you wanted to be the maker of your own destiny, if that sounds right.


MALONE: So what about the Marines, and not the Marines necessarily, but what about the military culture that you witnessed when the Marine came to school and your Armenian culture and upbringing that kind of clicked in your mind?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Exactly. It's the we base a lot about honor, respect. Everything that the Armenians are, are about honor and respect. My mom controlled us by a look. She looks like this, or she went like this. That means wait until we get home. So honor and respect and dignity and duty, everything that the Marine spoke of, we spoke at home. The only difference is that at home, we are very connected. The family, we're very close and everything, but I was told what to do all the time, and I felt like I didn't control my future. And I feel like we live only once.

And then I switched over to the military, and my house was almost military anyway. We had guns. We learned how to shoot when we're young. My father was 00:22:00very active in Lebanon. Between gun shops and. We had respect, not towards people, but towards our guns and towards why we used them. If we used them, if you show them, then you have to use it, so we never showed them. Nobody knew we had anything, and I think that's the way to go. And when you have something you just don't show it. I passed over to the Marines, and that didn't last long, because I passed over to the Navy and that was a perfect fit for me, because I am from the Caribbean, so the ocean is home for me. I could see myself just being in a boat forever.

MALONE: Yeah. Right. Yeah. So, you also mentioned that your father owned a gun shop as well, so obviously, were you around that environment a lot, too?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, lots. Oh, guns are very easy for me. Guns are no problem, and then I was in very good shape too, from the basketball. So between guns and basketball, I was ready. I was ready mentally. I was ready physically. I just wanted to go ahead, and I did. Yeah.

MALONE: Obviously when you decided that you wanted to stay in America and your family was deciding that they wanted to go back to Lebanon, at this point, had you decided that you were joining, that you thought that maybe you might want to join the military?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yes. I know my plan. I know my plan, and if they didn't budge, which of course they didn't, I'm a young, I wasn't eighteen. They're going to take me with. That's what I was going to do, and so far, knock on wood, everything I've said, I've done. It's part of what also the military says. If you say something, you got to do it. You talk the talk, you have to walk to 00:24:00walk. There's a lot of things, and so yes. I know I was going to do that, and I did.

The only thing that they didn't, the people that didn't know were my family, and up until now, I think that's the wrong way to join the military. You want to join the military, you want to be part of the military, then you go face your people. You make peace with them. You make yourself a person, and then you join. Running away and joining is for kids. I know this now. I wish I had the strength back then to say no, but I didn't, and that's part of the reason that I got out, which I'll tell you later, because you have to set a wrong right.

MALONE: Right. Yeah, my next question actually was going to be, because you kind of were making this very independent decision that seemed to kind of maybe go against the grain slightly within the family when they were going back, but they didn't know that you were joining?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: No, no, no. Oh. It was a complete, I ran away completely, and then I had to wait three months to get in, because in Orlando, that's the only place they had the female boot camp. They have to fill the spaces, so now I have ran away, I have no money, and then I have to work. So my friend got me a job with Sylvester Stallone's kid. She didn't know how to ski. She goes, "Do you know how to ski?" I says, "Yeah, I know how to ski." "You want to go with the Sylvester Stallone's kid to Deer Valley to ski for ten days?" I'm like, "Yeah, of course." So they came and picked me up for ten days, took me to Deer Valley. Ski in, ski out. All I had to do is babysit Sage, and right after I came back, it was all I delivered flowers and then boom, I'm in. So I had some interesting 00:26:00things happening towards before we got into the military.

MALONE: So you were graduated by this point, high school?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. I graduated. I graduated early.

MALONE: You graduated early? How old were you when you graduated?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So, I was seventeen when I graduated. That's why I had to wait also until I became eighteen, and then they had to fill the slot, and so I was like, "Please, please let it be early." I couldn't wait to go into boot camp. If I had known.

MALONE: So wide-eyed, ready for it.


MALONE: What do you think your family would've said when you, if you had told them right then and there that you wanted to join the military?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yes. There's no way it's going to happen. There's no way. They would've put me in a plane and take me. I would have no way to fight against that. Not my mom, but the men in the household. A woman belongs with her mother is normal. It's cultural. I accept it, but not this woman. Maybe some other woman. I had a lot of plans, and I wanted to study. I wanted to go to university.


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: My family, they're entrepreneurs, so there is no college. They go into a, they learn a make, and then they go become entrepreneurs. My father made a lot of money, second grade of school. That's his schooling. Yeah. I wanted to go to the university. I wanted political science. I loved history. I wanted this. I don't think that was, with the turmoil with my father dying and everything, that wasn't going to happen, and I wasn't going to let somebody else choose my life. And so I did what I did, and I did well, and then I made up for it.

MALONE: So was that difficult, separating a little bit from your family at that point?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I felt very guilty, because I added to their pain when they had most pain with the loss of my father and everything. But I think at the end, my mom was happy that I made the choice that I made, because she knew that made me happy, and now I succeeded in becoming my own woman instead of following a path where older women follow the same path. You go, somebody likes you, the mother likes you, now you're married, you have kids, which is wonderful thing. But not for me, and not in Lebanon, which I loved when I went, but, yeah.

MALONE: Yeah. So just going back quickly a little bit to your high school experience, and you mentioned political science and history, were you naturally always drawn towards that side? Or how did I guess then you end up getting a job at a pharmacy. So, did you have some interest in medicine, as well, and biology 00:29:00and science?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: That's a really, really good question. When my father died, he died in front of me. And so, I didn't know CPR. My mother didn't know CPR. He had a heart attack. She told me as the little as she knew. Massage his arm so you can get the blood flowing. That's what she knew, and so that's what I did. They took him away, he died, and then I found out, "Hey, there's something called CPR." So two weeks later I was CPR certified through school, and the next semester I became a nurse's assistant over there.

And medicine became something that, as soon as I took CPR, it gave, it made me feel, because I had felt so helpless, having learned CPR made me feel powerful, because now I know how to save someone's life. That's huge. It's a small thing 00:30:00you learn, but it's huge. When the time comes and it might come, you know how to do this. My daughter is 16. I took her to take CPR together, so in case something were to happen, she's ready for it.

The empowerment of knowledge is very important, and that's what I do now, in a sense. So yes, I did. I went to the um. In school, I did CPR. I did nurse's assistant. Then when I got to Milwaukee, they said, "Do you want to work in a pharmacy?" I said, "Sure. I'll work in a pharmacy." Got the $50 I needed to get back to California, and so that's probably the way I got into medicine. My father's death really shook my life, and the fact that it happened right in 00:31:00front of me is the most powerful thing, I would say. After that, I was by my family's side with every person that passed away, because I know that it was important to be at somebody's side's when they're leaving, so I hold their hand. And so anyway, that's a different story. Go ahead.

MALONE: No, no, that's great. Yeah. Thank you for that.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Did I answer your question? I tend to.

MALONE: Yes, you did, you did. Yes, no, you're all good. Well, I guess actually going back then, so the political science and the history, did that come probably from all of the very politically active places that you grew up in and were around?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, absolutely. When we went to Argentina, we were supposed to be safe. The Peronist, the Peron, the Eva Peron thing, people started disappearing. There was a bomb exploded next to my school, so we always have to know what's going on with politics. And then, once you see the politics in one 00:32:00place, in another place, and in a different place, you can start putting things together.

I love history and my father loved history. The way that we pass on our culture is through telling stories, is to tell the history of our people. So any history of anybody is interesting to us. So I thought that would fit in right in into political science. Which sort of did, or it did not.

MALONE: That's great. Just in general, it sounds like your upbringing, your high school education, being interested in political science, the medicine, being a basketball player, and then obviously your culture, just came to this one well rounded person that fit right into this idea of the military.


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh my goodness. Yes. I fit right in. When I went into boot camp, it was like never left home, because they told you exactly what you needed to do. Without the punishment, and the pushups, and the IT, which is Intensive Training. We call that Indoor Tennis. So, yeah.

The English made it difficult for me, because my CO. Of course, everybody got picked on, so I'm not saying I'm the only one, but she would call me, "The girl whose name I can't pronounce, one step forward." So that was me. Did I have a hard time in boot camp? I think that anybody that says that they didn't is not telling the truth. Everybody had a hard time in boot camp, and only through making friendships and sticking together is that you make it through.


For example, I was in an extremely well shape. I could run for hours. I could do the mile in less than six minutes, everything. But I can't do one push up, um pull up, because in basketball, you don't need to do pull-ups. And then a friend of mine, she had issues studying, so we got together. " You help me with the pull-up, I'll help you with the studying." And people stayed behind helping people to make it through the line, running. If we didn't pull together, we didn't pass. We started with eighty people and we graduated with sixty. And there were people who had come in, so I think that we lost over thirty people and we took on ten.

MALONE: So, what age were you when you officially enlisted and then went to boot camp?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So, I tried to do it on seventeen. I think it's eighteen that.

MALONE: Eighteen? Yeah.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Eighteen that I was sent to boot camp.

MALONE: Yeah, and you attended boot camp in Orlando?


MALONE:So, can you tell me, I know you said that you've felt like you were very prepared, but how was the actual transition, like you said?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, no. I wasn't prepared. Everything prepared was in the head. It left like this. The first day. They want you to forget who you are and make you in a different person. And this is very important that this happens in boot camp. You don't lose your, you can add on to your individuality after your boot camp. But during boot camp, you need to be as one, and work as one, and march as one, and eat as one, and do everything as one. You don't even sit on the chairs or on the beds. You don't do that. You sit on the floor until they 00:36:00tell you. And that took weeks until we were able to sit on a chair. When we did, [sighs] it was heaven. Heaven! Or we sat on our bed.

When we got the okay to sit on our bed, I never did. Because why would I? It's perfect. If they come in for inspection, I'm not going to scramble. So that's what they teach you, be prepared. You're going to get to do things your way, but you also have to think to always be prepared, you know.

We were prepared. We used to go out marching, I remember, with our M-14s, a bayonet and everything, and in the middle of summer. The next thing you know, there's lightning coming. Everybody, we can't run, because you have to march 00:37:00fast. So it's, " Left, right. Left, right." And the lightning coming in all over. I'm glad that some of these places now they're covered because, at some point, you could have gotten somebody hurt. Boot camp was a great experience.

You come out not liking your CO because they were so tough on you then, is like, "You know what? Have a nice life. Thank you. But have a nice life." They have a hard job, to get all these girls to become one. And talk about Armenians, we're very private people. I shy away. I go to the bathroom, change. My mom even can't see me. And here I have to take a shower with eighty girls. So, I learned very 00:38:00fast. You pretend, you do this every day. And so that's what I did. I pretended from the first day I stripped, I got in there, I did this every day.

Hey, you fake it until you make it. It worked. Yeah, it was tough, but nothing not to be able to get through, you know. I understand some people break down, you know, and maybe it wasn't the right time in their life to do this, but I'm sure that if they try again, they'll make it. They'll get into the right people that will help them through. I think so, I don't know. Everybody's different.

MALONE: Yes. You mentioned, obviously building friendships, especially joining this big group of girls, all going through this very intense experience, so what was that like? And, did you make a lot of friends? Did you maybe meet people that weren't as friendly? Or what were some of those experiences?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh yes. The biggest thing was, for me, that up until boot camp, all my friends were boys. Because we, I liked hunting, I liked doing stuff that boys like to do. I had just a couple of girls, my basketball team and my neighbor, who were girls. Besides that, they're all boys. To go in suddenly with eighty girls, that was the biggest shock. " Oh my. And I have to sleep next to. Oh my goodness." Like that.

There were some very friendly people. There were people who were loners and between the loners they get together and they make a group. There was a group for everybody. Group for loud girls, all the loud people get together and they make a loud group. You see the groups happening. And then there were people who 00:40:00weren't that nice, but they didn't have the audacity to be not nice out loud because they would get in trouble. Just stay away from them and life goes on. There's people like that all over here, everywhere you go. I have a feeling that they were put in their place.

There were some changes made in the, you know who, the CO place and whoever held onto the banners and everything. They changed them around because they know a little bit of power can give some people extra. They think that they might behave differently or have extra things. And that doesn't work. Everybody's the same and everybody should act the same. So, I have no complaints in boot camp, 00:41:00at all, for any prejudice or something because I didn't speak English properly. I was made fun of, but that's what you have to understand in the military. You're going to get make fun of, and then you have to laugh with them, and then you dish it out, and then you're even. And it's never meant in a bad way, so it's just joking around.

MALONE: Can you tell me a little bit more about what your training was like, and kind of getting whipped into shape of. What that experience was like? It sounds like you might have had a little bit of advantage over some people.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yes. I did have advantage over some people, but I also got punished because of some people. In the sense that, I could run a lot and I would always stay back and help people, " Come on. You can do it." And they 00:42:00didn't want me to do that. They wanted me to go ahead and I refused to do that. And so they sent me to Indoor Tennis or Intensive Training. Now, you go to Intensive Training three times. After that you go to more difficult one, which is with the rifle. I had the privilege to go to all of them because either one thing or the other. I didn't want to do exactly as I was told in the sense that, " Okay. No, don't help them. They have to make it by themselves" or something. " No, I'm sticking with my team" and I was a team person, so I got thanked for that.

Because you have to pay attention to the orders you've been given first. You know? Who knows what plans they have for other people. For example, you have your notebook here in the back, I'm fast, so I write whatever was supposed to 00:43:00do. You're supposed to take out the bottom one, throw it out. Well, I'm fast. I just wrote it, I have it there. I put it back in my pocket. " Let me see it." She found two of the daily things. She ripped it up, set me off for Intensive Training. I don't know why, but that's where I learned from my chief, in the future, when he said, "Take your time quickly. Do everything quickly, but take your time doing it so you don't make mistakes." All of these things, they come slowly. It makes sense slowly, afterwards when you get into the field.

Funny stories in boot camp did not happen. So funny stories happen afterwards, but boot camp was a serious place, it was meant to be taken seriously if you want to succeed in the future truly.


MALONE: All that's great. Do you have any more stories with your CO, your Commanding Officer? Or any other superiors that you ran into that maybe, like you said, [inaudible] shape?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Well, actually, this is an amazing story for me. When I was in boot camp, I hurt my hand and I was really, really disappointed. I did hurt my hand because it was the time where we were going to go shooting. And I know that I was good at it, I was going to impress somebody. But I hurt my hand, so they sent me off to sick call, to get my hands in. So while I'm on sick call, I have that notebook that's in the back here. And there was a girl not too far away, she's coughing, she's like seven, eight years old. Nervous cough. 00:45:00Coughing. She was forcing herself to cough. Her father next to he, who was a captain. You try not to look at. He looks so worried, you can tell that it's breaking his heart. His daughter is coughing like that. So I took up my notebook and I started looking stuff and I see that I got her interest, so I started showing her stuff and then I say, " Come up here." She sat next to me and we looked at stuff.

In the meantime, she stopped coughing because it was a nervous cough. She got better and better, once in a while she would cough and she was breathing a little better. She stayed with me for about 15 minutes and when they called her name, they took her in with the father. But before he left, he says, " What's your name?" And I say, " I'm Zoroghlian, K117" " Okay." He left.


When the time came for me to pick, they give you a sheet, they say, " Okay, now you're going to go to A School. Some of you to ship, some of you're going to be picked for A school. Go ahead, here's the sheet and pick." " Okay. I want something with sports. Exciting things." [inaudible] When they were calling off everything, they go," Leda Zoroghlian, corpsman." I said, " What's a corpsman? I don't even know what a corpsman is?" Everybody, " You got corpsman? There's only five slots for corpsman." "No, I don't want corpsman. I don't want to be a corpsman" " I'm sorry. You were chosen to be a corpsman by captain so and so." Well, when I looked at the picture, he was the CO of the base. And he called in, 00:47:00put me down for corpsman and I was going to become a corpsman. I didn't even know what corpsman was.

I don't know how to thank that man, because it shaped my life. I'm a nurse today because he put me as a corpsman. He saw something in me and he just did that little thing for him. Huge for me and my family. I put my nephew, grabbed him by the hand, took him to the Navy, enlisted him and told him, "Corpsman". And now, he's in medical school and he is going to become a doctor in two years. It's all because of that one captain who took the time to put my name in as a corpsman. My daughter is going to become a doctor thanks to that captain who. So yes, God works in mysterious ways. I think if I were to take the most important story 00:48:00from boot camp, that would be it. And he inspired me to do the same, to be able to write to people. If I have something small that I can put in for somebody else I do it all the time. Because I don't know what consequences that might. But I wish I could thank him for it. I've paid for it instead.

MALONE: That's a great story. Yeah. I know you mentioned A School, but before we get to that, I wanted to ask real quick, when it did come time to learn how to use guns and practice using guns, is that really where you stood out or shine maybe a little bit as well?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I never got to do it in boot camp because I hurt my hand.

MALONE: You never got to do it. It was hurt the entire time?


MALONE: Towards the end?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: That day, you do your handgun shoot. If you miss it, you miss it. So I missed it.


MALONE: Got you.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I did it later when I got to Portsmouth and I got my expert handgun and expert rifle. On the same side, I'm sorry. An expert on both ways. I'll tell you the stories because that was a fun story.

MALONE: Okay. Yeah. Thank you for clarifying that. That's great. That's a great transition into A School. You get done with boot camp. And how long was that again?



ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Maybe two months.

MALONE: Two months. [inaudible] Yeah.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Something like that.

MALONE: Yeah. Okay. Then it comes time for A School and you get assigned, basically, to corpsman. You didn't get to choose at all.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: No, I didn't even know what it meant, corpsman. I'm like, "Corpsman?"

MALONE: Trying to figure it out. Yeah. So where did you go from there then?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So, Great Lakes, which is right over here and.

MALONE: And back to the Midwest.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Back to the Midwest, close to Milwaukee, where my aunt was. She did pick me up a few times, afterwards. And it was just a wonderful time of 00:50:00the year, in December. [Laughs]

MALONE: Great time.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. So we had to muster outside for half hour, every day, to go to lunch in the hospital. Oh my gosh. It definitely. Midwest people are strong people. If it's not the farm, it's the weather, but they can endure and I have a lot of respect for that. I begged my aunt to bring me wool undies because I couldn't, I was shivering so much.

We walked back and forth, three times, in the snow winds to eat. A School was great. It's made so many friends, a lot more relaxed than boot camp, but yet same discipline. More relaxed, same discipline. We still had to do everything that we didn't, the beds and. But we had the nights often, to become more 00:51:00friends. We were more like prisoners.

MALONE: Can you tell me a little bit more about some of those differences, between A school and basic and what the transition was like for you?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, sure, sure, sure. So, the most important thing is that now we can talk to boys. I now started making friends who were boys, who I would see in the mens hall and they're like, "Hi." It is not boyfriend or boys, but boy who are also friends. Because I was used to having my friends who were boys. For me to be around women, women, women for two months is. It's not the same energy. I met a lot of friends who are boys and then I met a lot of Puerto Ricans who were there. so, of course, with the Spanish and everything, they're 00:52:00like, " Oh, you don't know how to do this dance?" So at the end, once every other weekend I think, we were able to leave. So they took me to Chicago and to a merengue thing. Ooooh! We had a good time, of course. There's absolutely no drinking. None of us. We knew that if we got in trouble, the drinking or anything that. It would be all over before even started. So we behaved, we was a nice group.

I think the people who wanted to be corpsman have a different mentality than other people. They have the will, they basically join because they want to help other people. So, when you're around corpsman, you sort of feel safe to go out of places. I know that a lot of people have had different experiences. I've always felt safe where I was. Except for a couple of times, of course. The other 00:53:00different was that we could eat, take long time to eat, at nights so we could do that. We could get together, play pool. We could dress whatever we wanted to. We could go to the movies.

There was a really controversial movie with Kevin Costner that he was a spy, that he was in the Navy, he was the spy and everything. We all went there and we were so proud of Kevin Costner. He turned out to be the spy, everybody spitting and yelling and things like that. So, yeah. It was a lot more freedom than in boot camp. Nobody really on top of us to. If you screw up, well, that's your, you're going to get it. But nobody's like, " Don't screw up." You know what I mean? It's a big difference. "Don't screw up." Or if you screw up, is your problem. So they give more responsibility to.


MALONE: Would you say that most people there had always wanted to be a corpsman, versus you, who just got placed there?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. They all picked to be corpsman. They knew what it was. They didn't bump into it because there weren't any corpsman slots to go around, so, some people that put in for it, didn't get it. Everybody was happy to be there. They knew what they were doing. And they sort of had the little idea of. It was only me who had just the CPR thing, everybody else know something about it. We had mannequins to break. It was a really good, we had mannequins and shots, we gave it to each other. You know?There's a lot of jokers that put a happy face, put the X and. Yeah, we had a good time. Graduation came along and 00:55:00everybody graduated. We didn't lose anybody like boot camp. Graduated in January and off to Portsmouth.

MALONE: Yeah. So, how did that influence you? Being around people who are very inspired for the job, did that help you feel at ease with being a corpsman and realizing that is your calling?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, I guess it did. In the sense that everybody wanted to be a corpsman, and so did I once I found out what it's all about. You know? I didn't know I was going to be the one that's going to be frontline, for example, that really got me going. That's why I went ahead and became a field corpsman 00:56:00and maybe four because. [Phone rings] Excuse me. Because that's what I wanted to do. I wanted excitement. I wanted to be able to help firsthand. Yes. I was just as excited as they were. And at the end, maybe even a little more, because I know that God had placed me where he wanted me.

MALONE: Exactly.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Because I definitely didn't want to be there.

MALONE: At first.


MALONE: You mentioned the mannequins and practicing shots, what were some of the other training? What did all that entail?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Everything. So we had gastro,we had immunology, everything. Every muscle, every bone, every nerve we had to learn. It was a very tough course, becoming a corpsman. They, um, I thought it was going to be easy, but it wasn't. The teachers took it seriously. They got down on their hands and knees 00:57:00with us. If you didn't get it, they made you get it. They sat down with you, explained it to you, but the studying had to be done on your own. Let's see what we had. They explained x-rays, mannequins, CPR again, heart. So, so, I'll come back to you later on that.

One of the instructors told me, "Before you start CPR. You come across a body whose heart just stopped, just you make a nice and big, tight fist and you just hit the guy in the chest and the heart is going, boom, to restart pumping. And 00:58:00then you're going to be okay and save yourself all the CPR." "That's awesome." Well, I forgot all about. But one time, I was in Puerto Rico and. May I tell the story?

MALONE: Go for it.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Or should I wait until I get to Puerto Rico?

MALONE: You know what? Actually, yeah, let's wait. Maybe until we get to Puerto Rico and we are coming up on the hour mark.


MALONE: Let's maybe take our break and then we can just. Because you were talking about A school and I'll make a giant note down to come back to that story.


MALONE: Okay. So this is Sarah Malone with Leda Zoroghlian Patrick, excuse me. And this is the end of segment one. [SECOND SEGMENT OF INTERVIEW BEGINS] All right. This begins segment two of our interview with Leda Zoroghlian Patrick. Okay. So we left off around A School and I believe you were talking about some of the training. So were there any specific training scenarios that you remember 00:59:00that were interesting.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Basically everything we needed to know to be able to work at a hospital. Starting from labor and delivery all the way to cardiac. So we covered everything. By the time you leave A School, you're ready to work in any ward in the hospital field. So, that's what they specialize in. Afterwards, if you then want to specialize into field, or surgical tech, or cardiology, or something like that, then you got to C School. But A School is about a general understanding of working in a hospital.

MALONE: Yeah. Did you ever consider going to C School?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So, I did, but I wanted to do the field. So I did 8404, which was field corpsman. When you graduate you're 0000. And then, when you 01:00:00become a field corpsman, you become 8404, which is the corpsmen that go with the Marines. So, I had the opportunity to work with them for a little bit. So, for that, you become an EMT, you have to know how to take care of people on the field, you drive ambulances, you do all that stuff. And then EMT school is National EMT. So it's not just. Because corpsman, it doesn't pass to the civilian, but the EMT is national so you could use your training as a civilian work.

MALONE: As a civilian? Got you. Okay. That's great. So you also mentioned that the environment was a little more relaxed. You got the nights off, you got to go to downtown Chicago. Can you tell me just a little bit more about that and what experiences you had with some of the friends you made?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Lifelong friendships of course. Even in A school. Just being together and just getting through school was our priority. And the extra time we had, then we gave it to partying. But we couldn't party too much, so no alcohol. For the group I was in, no alcohol. That came later. I'm kidding.

MALONE: And at this point, I know you mentioned that you were still kind of learning some English, during bootcamp, had it developed at all? How was your English when you were in school?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I passed, of course, with 89%. My English developed in the wards, making mistakes and having fun doing so. Right? For example, when I'm in the ward, I'm taking care of older ladies so I was in 9C, where is female 01:02:00medicine. They usually call it the pit because it's, unfortunately, where all the sickest women came in with cancer, with advanced diabetes. It was really challenging. And that's the best place that you can learn really fast, how to be good. So, my English came with making difficult things like saying, at two o'clock in the morning, I'm doing rounds on everybody, taking blood pressure, pulse. And then there's this little, really nice little lady, looked like a Tweety Bird lady, and I turn on the light I'm like, "I'm here to take your blood pressure." She's like, "Sure, my dear." I take her blood pressure and I just wanted to wish her sleep nicely, rest. And all I can think of, right before 01:03:00I turned off the light is, "Rest in peace." And I turned off the light. " Oh my God, what did I just say?"

And of course, in the morning, I apologize, "I meant to say," things like that. Or that my friend, we were cleaning the decubitus ulcer, big hole that we need to plug. People came in very sick, so it's a bed sore, very big. And when I took it out and teaching him how to do it, the smells were really powerful and he fainted. Well, I didn't know fainted. I told my commander, "Commander [inaudible], come quick. Beaman just passed away." And she's like, "What? No." Passed out, or fainted, or you know, lost consciousness. And making mistakes like that, I learned the correct way, hospital way, of using. It came in quick when you make mistakes like that. So they were patient with me.


MALONE: Yeah. That's great. So it sounds like we're starting to get into your time at the Naval hospital. Just to go back, just to wrap back to A school real quick, you finished that in January. I know you mentioned of what year was that?


MALONE: '87. So how long was that for you?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So how many months of A school?

MALONE: Mm-hmm.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I think it was three months.

MALONE: Okay. Yeah. And then from there, did you, you just had mentioned also you graduated with everyone then?


MALONE: Everyone graduated.


MALONE: And from there, were you assigned or did you get to choose where you went on next?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: No, I was assigned. Yeah. I was assigned to Portsmouth, Virginia.

MALONE: Mm-hmm. Okay.


MALONE: Yeah. Mm-hmm. Were you excited to be going to a Naval hospital? Did you ever want to work on a fleet ship?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. I wanted to do ships. But during my time, women were not allowed. So, Portsmouth was perfectly fine with me for first hospital. Yeah. 01:05:00I was excited to see what was next in store for me. So yeah, it was nice. It was really good because it was right next to Norfolk, Virginia Beach. It was a big hospital, nice quarters to live in, which I did for a little bit and I moved out. So yeah, it was very nice. A lot of experience, school, right in the base. So yeah.

MALONE: Mm-hmm. Did you feel like A school had prepared you well for that transition to a hospital setting and being in the wards right away?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yes. Yes and no. Yes and no. Yes and no, because they touch the surface. But once you work there, then you need the LPO, you know, to guide you through everything. And everybody is really helpful. In the beginning, they always pull jokes on you. So they call me Zoro. "Zoro, why don't you go and get 01:06:00some sterile layer, three cans of sterile layer?" That doesn't exist. So I go down to the supply, "Can you get me three cans of sterile." Stuff like that. They pick on you and you need to take it and laugh with it and then pass it on, because I know I did my share.

MALONE: Yeah. Can you talk a little bit more about some of the areas in the hospital that you got to work in?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, sure. So, I worked in 9C, in female medicine. Then I worked in cardiology. I pulled duty as the EKG tech for cardiac arrests, emergency room, as the duty in emergency room, those were the two places, and I drove the ambulances. Those were the two places I worked, cardiology and the 9C. The rest, I pulled duty for the cardiology department. Yeah.


MALONE: And can you touch a little bit more on what pulling duty exactly is and what your role there is?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Sure. So duty, I think, would come, depending on where you're working, once every seven days, depending on when it's your turn to be good. So when I'm in the EKG, I stay there twenty-four hours in scrubs and wait for somebody to have a heart attack, and then boom, you're activated, your [inaudible] goes up, you take your EKG machine and you run whatever spot you're in and then you wait. As soon as their CPR stops, boom, you put on the machine and you get that EKG so they can see what they're up against. That was basically what I did with EKG and then emergency room with the driving ambulances. Mostly that was in Puerto Rico though with the EMT. And I did, EMT I did in Virginia 01:08:00too when I got my EMT in Virginia, emergency medical technician. That took, yeah, that took about three months too. Yeah. Yeah. I think so, three months. It was good training.

Also, they taught you how to save people from the ocean. Basically, whoever faked being. I should say this again, not fake. There's a lot of people who claim they have some sort of issues going on, the Navy puts everybody to work. So even if you have a broken hand or broken leg, they put you to work in the elevator. Some people say, "Oh, I'm not doing well mentally," because they want out of the Navy. Well, then they use them as guinea pigs for the pool, so as if they're drowning. So we had to go save them. So everybody always is working. 01:09:00Nobody's not working. Somebody's always doing something, which is the good thing about that. You don't have time to get bored. And you can always find something to do if you want to volunteer for something. There's always something to do.

MALONE: So did you ever volunteer for any other jobs?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yes, I did. I volunteered to go to the fleet marine hospital operations, the fleet, for fleet hospital number five, which was supposed to go internationally. We have to build it, put it together. It was a. It was all three, Marines, the Seabees, and the Navy corpsmen working together to create a 500 bed hospital in the middle of nowhere. They dropped the containers by helicopters and then we get there and we built the hospital. And this hospital 01:10:00has air conditioning, operating rooms, air conditioning. It's perfectly safe and sterile rooms hospital for 500 people in three days. So yeah, that was a great experience, having to work with them. Loved it. Yeah.

MALONE: Yeah. Okay. So I definitely want to come back to that, but just to maybe go back to some of experiences that you also had in the emergency room with the cardiology, do you have any specific memories from people coming in and situations you had to deal with that were particularly interesting to you?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. I had sad situations. Because usually, when I'm called in, it's because something bad is happening. And so families losing their loved ones and then I would go in. My Spanish came in actually handy for that one 01:11:00family. They were Puerto Ricans and then I got to sit with them and I could understand how they grieve and how to talk to them. And, so, yeah, that's the kind of experience with my duties, but I didn't have happy experiences, because I always called when something bad happened. You know. No, nothing else for that. Yeah. I've had stories from my 9C for example, so, like ladies saying.

My family was overseas, so I always took everybody's duties. So when, come Christmas time, I had a lady with a big halo, the halo, it's an apparatus they put on your shoulders and on your head and it keeps your head up. So I was 01:12:00talking to her Christmas night, and she says, "You know Leda, I'm going to give you some advice." I says, "Yeah, what is it?" She says, "I always ask the Lord, I have nine kids, all I do is wash dishes." I says, "Okay." "And I asked the Lord do something so I don't wash dishes anymore, and he gave me this sickness." And I'm like, "Oh, wow." "So my advice to you is if you ask the Lord something, be very specific." It just kept with me, this lady. And every time I'm going to ask something of the Lord, I'm very specific in asking. So I made the, even friends with the people that we took care of. Yeah.

MALONE: Mm-hmm. did you. What were some things you did during your downtime while you working at Portsmouth?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I went to school, number one priority. Political science.

MALONE: Yeah. Can you tell us more about that?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Sure. I went to Tidewater Community College, first history and everything I could do with governments. I loved it. In the beginning, it's hard to go to school because you work twelve hours on, twelve hours off, three twelve hours on, two twelve hours off, then three off, two on. And to go to college with that, it's tough. I started doing that once I got into cardiology. So in cardiology, it was more nine to five, so it was easier. They pulled a lot of jokes in cardiology on me too. They sent me off, the LPO says, "Oh, look, it's active duty day. Go look for Mike Hunt. Call out his name." And I went out to say, "Mike Hunt," and then everybody starts laughing. And I'm like, "What's 01:14:00going on?" I won't continue. I guess you have to understand that if you add the two names, what it comes out as. But they made a lot of jokes.

And the other thing that happened that was funny was. So it's my first day and I'm doing, we're doing treadmills. Whoever's sick. It's active duty day. There's a long line. We do their blood pressure, EKG, and then send them off. Everybody usually is fine. So whoever's fine, you put them in, you shave their chest, you take their blood pressure. Whoever's fine, you put their notebook in the blue, and if there's something wrong in the red. And there's barely nothing in the red usually, because everybody's healthy and everybody's fine. My first day, they 01:15:00put me in charge of shaving and getting it ready for them to put the electrodes. So I shaved and then there's hairs that get stuck over there. So I blew to get the hairs off and then they pass over and they take the blood pressure and then they take their folder and they put it in the red. And like that, I shaved, I blow to get the hair up, they take the blood pressure.

Next thing I know, the red was up to here and then the blue was maybe two. So the captain comes up and then he says, "What's going on here? This is never like this." And then he sees me shaving. He says, "Can you change her and put her in a different place?" Because the poor kids weren't used to people blowing on 01:16:00their chest so their blood pressure would be coming up. I learned that, like my mom, we shouldn't blow to make it feel better. So yeah, stuff like that.

MALONE: That's a great story. So what made you decide then to start taking some classes at the local college?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So I've always wanted to go to school. I think that from the first day that I learned CPR, it empowered me. I know knowledge empowers people. I wanted to go to school and learn as much as I could, and political science was it for me and that's what I did. Once I was going to school, I got in touch with Chief O'Meara, was a chief of mine, and I went shooting, and that's when I got my expert handgun, because he was into guns. But he then realized that I spoke 01:17:00five languages and he told me, "You're in the wrong place. You need to go after cryptology" so he put in all the paperwork for me to go to cryptology and I got the paperwork back. They sent me off to take a test. I took the test and I was accepted.

So now, they're going to send me to cryptology school. And I was ready to go, but then they noticed that I don't have a passport. I was there with a green card and I would not cut through the security clearance. And so they says, "Go get your passport and then you can come back." By the time I put in for the passport, I got transferred to Puerto Rico and that was that. But I could have had the opportunity to go to cryptology school, which I think would've been interesting. Yeah. I'm glad I stayed with the corpsman, but I think cryptology would've been interesting. I could see doing stuff there. Yeah.


MALONE: And so did you complete that degree in political science?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So I did two years of political science and I did put it to use in Venezuela, which I'm sure we'll get there in a little bit. Yeah. So no, I completed two years worth, yes.

MALONE: Gotcha. Okay. I guess any other experiences that you want to share from your time at Portsmouth before we move on to local hospital a little more?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. Portsmouth was a place where it's your first duty station. You learn how to move out of base to become independent. You don't stay, you go out fishing, friends, family. But basically, it's a place of learning. Now comes the second duty station, where it is really nice experiences where it's so much lacks and so much away from the main land. So it's a 01:19:00different culture. So, I put in for, ‬I put in, I wanted to go overseas. So I put in for the Philippines first, I put in for Hawaii second, and then I put in for Puerto Rico third, penciled in. And they couldn't send me to Philippines because I didn't have my passport and you can't go overseas if you're not American. They didn't send me to Hawaii because it was all the way on the other side of the coast, and so I was lucky enough to get Puerto Rico, but I had to extend to get Puerto Rico, and I did. I extended three months in order to get Puerto Rico.

MALONE: Okay. So then before that was when you had volunteered to, with the fleet hospital number five.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yes, it was during. And I volunteered with my commander, Commander Hansen. Both of us went, two women. But there weren't too many women 01:20:00there actually. It was mostly men. So there was a, because they had seen the expert in, they put me to work with the Marines and security. While we were there, they said, "The Marines are going to come in and attack the compound. We got to be ready." They drew a box. I think there was 200 of us. They drew a box. They says, "Whoever makes it into this box will be safe and whoever does not will be dead." Okay. So here comes at night, the lights went off. For me, that's a red light because I come from Lebanon. I ran to the operations room and I told my commander, "Commander Hansen, the lights went off. This is what they do in Lebanon. Tonight is the night they're going to come."


"No," she says." "We sent somebody, it's the generator. Something where." I says, "Well, I'm just letting you know, Commander," but I was up and ready for them. And I was hiding behind the. Because you could point at them and shoot them too. You say you're dead and they're dead too. I wanted to get one. And so I stayed behind the container, waited for them, and I saw them coming silently. They went in each one, they went in and they killed everybody in the. Fake. But when I saw them coming, they hadn't done anything yet. I turned around because I'm going to hide in order to find a better place to get them. As soon as I turned around, there was one next to me. A Marine shot me. I was the first one to go. I was like, then I watched everybody get killed. Oh. And then about ten people made it to the box out of about 200. Out of 200, ten people got to the box, six Marines. So yeah. Those movies that we watch, highly trained, is 01:22:00respect, is respect. Yeah.

MALONE: Can you tell me a little bit more about what it was like to work alongside the Marines and Seabees?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, sure. It's wonderful, because we can always joke about each other, "Oh, you grunt," or, "Oh, you wave," and this and that, but we can only say that in between us. If somebody else says it, it's normal. So it's always, who's going to beat who? And it is always a competition. The Seabees are a class different than in the Navy. So I got along more with the Marines than I got with the Seabees because they're a whole different.

They're like submariners. You don't know what Navy they're in. So yeah, the combination of the three makes. So we played volleyball that night with big 01:23:00lights just to see who's going to beat who. It was always a competition between the Marines, the Seabees and the corpsmen. The corpsmen came last, to tell you the truth, but they loved us the most because we were their ducks. They didn't let us win, but they loved us the same.

MALONE: Yeah. And can you clarify for the audience what a Seabee is?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So Seabees are the worker bees of the United States Navy. They built the stuff. Anytime you need to build a bridge, temporary barracks or permanent barracks or anything that gets damaged, you call the Seabees. They're the worker force of the United States builders. Without them, we are nothing. We don't build. Engineers and a lot of. Yeah, I would describe them like that. Yeah.


MALONE: So generally a pretty positive relationship with the Marines, you would say?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, but of course. Of course, because we're part of the same group. We, the corpsmen, are their doctors. They call us staff. They love us, the Marines. I've never, ever had anything go wrong with anybody really. The Marines are awesome. And I respect them so much, but I think I did make the right decision when I joined the Navy because they're always dirty. They always put that there.

MALONE: Right. Just like you saw the first day.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: And it's easier for me to go to school in the Navy than it is as a Marine. They work a lot harder, the truth is you know.

MALONE: Mm-hmm. So I know you built this mobile hospital within three days.



MALONE: So did you get a chance to experience or get some more training on what some of that field medicine would look like within the hospital? Or were you mostly there to set up?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Sure. No, we set up and then we did like contingencies, if something happens, who gets where, triages, we practiced all of that as if it was the real thing, you know because you never know. And actually, it did get deployed four years later. They said, "We're going to call you back in four years." "Okay. Well, suit yourself." And then it did get deployed four years later.

MALONE: Do you know where they went or what unit it was.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: No, because that's the only one, because it was number five, I think they were only five. And each one of the other ones had a specific place to go to. Number five was the only one that was mobile they could send anywhere, and nobody knew where. The other ones, they were places that nobody knew where they were. They were there and you just sent the people, and yeah, we didn't know where they were. But this one, it was, they could drop it off anywhere.


MALONE: Mm-hmm. what would like a typical day then look like, doing some of that training? Or do you have any specific training scenarios that were intense or that you remember?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. I remember because of the pictures. I have some embarrassing pictures of doing water fights after a long, hard day of work. Because it is in the desert. It's in Camp Pendleton. You're sweating, you're drenched. You see people working hard and it just animates you to work just as hard or even harder. Everybody worked hard. Nobody slacks, because everybody volunteered to be there. We all know how important this was and we had to make it work. And so at the end, we all knew that we needed to have as much fun as we did working. So water fights would start and then we all go. There was a little cantina. So we would all go to the cantina, play volleyball and just stay up at 01:27:00night, all hours of the night. But we all know that we had to go to bed early too. But there is midnight, lights out and then if you want to sleep, great, or not, no.

Yeah. So yeah, we worked just as, we partied just as hard. Yeah, nothing crazy. I know that there's a lot of places in the Navy, you hear that, "Oh my gosh, it's crazy partying party, party, party." I never saw that. I guess you hang around the people that is like you. I never did the crazy partying. I did pick up a few people with the ambulance from the partying and the MDs and broken faces and hands and everything. But I think that maybe the civilians or some people would think that there's a lot of crazy fighting going on, and it's not always like that. That's just a myth, I think. I would've seen more of it in the 01:28:00emergency room. Maybe there are, of course, but just like there are anywhere else. Yeah. But a lot of people get afraid to go, "I don't want to go into that kind of a scenario." And the truth is it's not like that. It's a wonderful, it's a safe place to be. Your buddies are your protectors.

I did get assaulted a couple of times and I didn't snitch. What I'd do is I told my friends and my friends were my backbone and they would take care of me. I don't need to go anywhere. So you basically are safe if you know what you're doing. But if you put yourself in situations sometimes that you're not supposed to, then sometimes it goes wrong. Not all the time, but sometimes it goes wrong. You know. So yeah. I know that there's some cases that if it's gone wrong and I 01:29:00feel bad, but the Navy always takes responsibility and does an investigation and gets to the end of it. So I trust the Navy. I trust its people. I trust everybody. I would go back in. When I heard about Space Force, I was trying on my uniform to see if I could get back in and join Space Force. So yeah, it's a nice place to work.

MALONE: So I know that you feel like safe and you felt very interested in what you're doing, but so you did experience some sexual harassment?



ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: It wasn't sexual. Assaulted, assaulted in the sense that one of them was in the Army base, his dad was playing basketball, and they were very hostile against the Navy. I got hit with an elbow in my mouth and they were verbally very aggressive and everything. I guess I'm just as much to blame as 01:30:00they were because they said something about my mother and I said something back. And then they came and a big fight broke up and they punched me, broke my nose, and here comes the MP, everybody running around. And we ended up laughing about it, but I did get punched in the nose. I'm a female and I never thought I would get punched in the nose. But that was a good wake up call, because just because you are a female, you're not allowed to say whatever you feel like saying. You have consequences and they're going to treat you like you're a man. So they did, and I can't complain.

So after that, that was one. Of course, we laugh about it now. The other one, I was doing hospital, ambulance driving for the third time, the course for the 01:31:00third time, because I wanted to be able teach that. And there was somebody in the back who just had it in for me. He, um, "Lower the window." And I'm like, "Wow, can you please ask nicely?" Because you cannot give into bullying. That's one thing that you learn very fast. Somebody bullies you, you better stand up to him immediately. So he says, "Zoro, lower the window," like that. And I says, "Can you ask nicely?" "I'm telling you lower [inaudible]." Maybe I deserve it. I don't know. "I'm telling you lower the window." I said, "Ask nicely. What's it to you? Just ask nicely, I'll lower the window," because if I don't know next time he's going to say something else. I need to stand my ground.


There were other people there. They weren't my buddies. I didn't know them. I didn't know this guy. We were in uniform. And so when the ambulance stood and everybody got off, everybody took off and it was left me and him. So I didn't think much of it. I left and he came around the hospital. "I asked you to roll down the window. Couldn't you just do it?" I says, "I'm sorry. I was asking nicely for you to. If you had said something, I would've." It was no warning. He grabbed me by the neck, put me against the hospital, put me up, and I was lucky enough to get a good shot where it hurts and he dropped me and I ran. I didn't say anything to anybody, but he left marks on my neck.


And then I saw him three days later and I went to him, "I'm watching you." And lo and behold, he never bothered me again. Yeah, because you protect yourself. Some women are not that lucky. Some men are not that lucky either. So it's not women, it's both. They never treated me different because I was a woman and I appreciated that. I never got, "Oh, let's make it easy because she's a woman," and they never made it easy because I was a foreigner, what they call a foreigner. I never felt I was outsider. Never, ever. I was treated exactly as everybody else, and I so appreciate that because that fills me, you know, because I know that what I gained, I gained from true hard work.


MALONE: Yeah. And did both of those assaults, did they happen while you were working with Marines at Camp Pendleton?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: None of them did.

MALONE: None of them did.


MALONE: Portsmouth. Oh, wow. Okay.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. Portsmouth. One was in the Army base and one was outside in a training facility. None of them were in my base, because I think that corpsmen don't have that spirit. They have the spirit to help, not the spirit to hurt. That's my opinion. So yeah. I'm sure there's a lot of people have gone through assault.

MALONE: Mm-hmm. So you mentioned like, you know, working in ambulance and standing up maybe to some more difficult behaviors. Do you have any other memories of experiencing some difficult patients or that you remember, recall?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Bar fights probably and drunk. One day I was in the emergency room, some guy came, his face was all, poor guy, all cut up with 01:35:00lacerations. And we fixed him up, sent him away. Two hours later, somebody comes with a broken hand. I'm like, "Oh, what did you do?" Because we know about the guy. "Oh, nothing." "You see that guy that just left?" "Oh, yeah. Well, that was me." "Oh, that was you, huh?" So yeah. We've had people like that.

MALONE: Yeah. Mm-hmm. And then also, when you're talking about your buddies,would you , were, did you spend most of your time when you're at Camp Pendleton with the Marines or with other core men or with CBs, or a mix?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, it was a mix because none of my buddies came to the Navy, only my commander. Because the first thing they teach you when you get in the Navy is don't ever volunteer for anything.


Never volunteer for anything. Only my commander and myself, we volunteered and the both of us, we went, and she was great. She became my friend. As soon as we come back to Portsmouth, of course, she's no longer my friend, she's my boss, but I made new friends over there. And that's the good thing about having a... Thank God I'm an extrovert because I make friends fast. It would be difficult, I would think, if you're an introvert, all those changes. It's a positive thing to be an extrovert. I make friends easy.

MALONE: That's great. Clearly, whoever said never volunteered, didn't ever volunteer. It sounds like you had a good experience with Camp Pendleton.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I like that. Yes. Yes. Yeah. I volunteered for everything.


MALONE: Mm-hmm. Is that the only volunteer work that you did or did you have any other duties?




MALONE: In Virginia. Okay.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: In Puerto Rico, I volunteered a lot. Yeah.

MALONE: Okay. After your time at Camp Pendleton, you came back to Portsmouth for a short period of time, or did you go straight to.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: No, a short period of time. And then off to Puerto Rico, which was great.

MALONE: Mm-hmm.



ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I had a really good time there. The people, the whole Caribbean feel to it was awesome. Every time you go to a base, the first two weeks is terrible. Oh, I don't like this [mimics complaints], and next thing you know, everything starts clicking in and you're loving it. They put me in med surge, surgical med, the first. As soon as I got there, that's where they put mostly everybody. That's where I got my nursing, the corpsmen of the month, because I had been to 9C, and that's the worst of the worst. Anything that came 01:38:00in that search, I knew exactly what to do and did it. I took my time quickly. I passed from patients to patients and I oversaw other patients. She was really impressed with me and gave me corpsmen of the month. And then.

MALONE: And 9C was female medicine, right?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Female medicine, and yeah, a lot of sick women. Unfortunately, when I think about the medicine back then and the medicine now, a lot of those people would've had better treatments or better grief therapy for their families and stuff that we didn't have back then. We didn't use gloves. AIDS had just come and we had no idea what AIDS was. A lot of family, mothers dying from AIDS because of blood transfusions they got from when they gave birth to babies. It was a tough place emotionally, physically to work there, but you 01:39:00learned a lot and you were able to help more people as you move forward. And that's what happened in med surge. Yeah.

MALONE: Do you have any particular experiences there?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: In med surge, I remember. There's of course, they're colorful, which I won't go into, but.

MALONE: No, feel free to share whatever you want.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. There is one, two friends that went to San Thomas, grabbed the bike, have a good time with the bike, had an accident, and then they left the person who was the passenger lost one leg. And now, there are two buddies next to the rooms. One is the driver and the one in the back who doesn't have a leg and the emotional fight that. They were both my patients, so I just listen. That emotional fight between themselves, that my friend, now I don't 01:40:00have a leg. My friend did this to me. And the other one, I can't believe this to my friend. And they were having a good time. And it's just a split second and that's what happens to you.

And after three days, the changing of their feelings and understanding, and the bond was so close that they came together and it was pure magic. The crying, the forgiving, all these feelings all at one, it's sad, but it's also a privilege to see this because you grow when you see this. It makes you wiser, I think, if you take the time to learn and understand. That's the sad part, but when I was free in. If I didn't have any patients, then I would go to ICU because a lot of my friends smoked, so I want to give them a smoke break. At the time, I didn't smoke.


I go to give a smoke. Hey, hey, what's the matter? I say, Leda, Leda, Zoro. Zoro, Zoro, you want to look over my patient? I said, sure. I'll look over your patient. What's up? Oh, it's nothing. It's appendicitis, he's sleeping. He's no problem. Okay. He goes, I stay, and then there's the monitor, beep, beep, beep, beep. And it's fine. I check him over. He's fine. I'm not even paying attention to him anymore. I look back and next thing you know, I hear beep. My training kicks in. I'm like, I don't know what to do. My training kicks in. I remembered the guy in corps school make a big fist. I make a big fist and I hit him as hard as I could on the chest, and the guy wakes up screaming, ah. And I scream, "Oh my God, what's happening?" And everybody comes in. It turns out one of these 01:42:00leads had fallen off. Besides chest pain now that he has, he was fine. I'm like, oh my God, that's.

MALONE: You didn't crack his chest, did you?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I hit him. No, I didn't, but it's bruised. Oh my God. I hit him, because he's up too. He was perfect. I'm like, bang. And he went, "Aahhhh." Oh my gosh.

MALONE: So the training came in handy.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: It will come. It will come. I promise. And so, then we had people who lost their arm, Spanish speakers. And I mean, we had everything, but during that time, I volunteered a lot. There was the Armenian genocide. Am I doing okay, or do you want to ask the questions?


MALONE: No, you keep going. You're fine.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: There was the Armenian earthquake. So, I went to the Red Cross and I says, how can I help? Because I want to help see if I can send money or something. If I had any money, I would send them, but I was just in petty officer, third class, which I made in Virginia on the first time around, right?. And so, says, okay, I want to do a cake sale. And okay, do a cake sale. We'll put it in the newspaper. We made a cake sale. We're going to meet up at the Navy Exchange. And low and behold, I had one little table like this, hoping to raise, I don't know, couple of hundred. And people started bringing in cake and cake and cake and we put table after table, after table, after table. After that, I couldn't take care of. I just used the honor system. Here's the thing. Put your money, take your cake.


And we made a thousand dollars and another organization added a thousand dollars, so we ended up sending $2,000 to the Armenian disaster. The Red Cross sends it to the Russian Red Crescent and then the Red Crescent sends it off to Armenia for the earthquake. That was really nice. I was overwhelmed with generosity of people who don't even know what Armenians are or where they are, but they know that one little cake would make a difference. And I have like the Kodak moment in my head of how many tables I had of cake and cookies and everything, and the honor system worked perfectly. So, I volunteered for that.

We did the lip-syncing contest, hospital for all the orphans in Puerto Rico to orphanages and the DDID population, the developmentally disabled population, and 01:45:00we raised $5,000 for that. So yes, volunteering was a lot of fun and got a lot of people together. We did it all at Don's Lighthouse, which is where we all met and had a few drinks outside of the base, and made money for other people. Those things, I don't know if you wanted to know that.

MALONE: Yeah, no, that's great. Just going back to the Armenian earthquake and being in Puerto Rico at the time, but knowing that had happened and it devastated obviously, the Armenian community. What was that like for you, just emotionally and [inaudible] family [inaudible]?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, it was very hard to know that Armenia, being such a small country, was going through so much, on top of it has lost 60,000 people to an earthquake that they know that the recovery would be very hard and it was 01:46:00under Russia still. So, it wasn't that they could do something for themselves, so they all depended upon the money that they would receive. They ended up that winter cutting down every single tree in Armenia so they could use to warm their homes and their beds because there was no electricity. So, yeah, they barely made it and every single cent counted. I didn't have anybody of my family there, but Armenia is in our hearts. Like people say, I wasn't born in Armenia. Armenia was born in me. Yeah.

MALONE: That's great. That's beautiful. I love that.


MALONE: Mm-hmm. Okay. Just going back to some of your time working in the Naval hospital, you mentioned that you also helped some civilians as well. Did you, civilians would also come to your hospital for treatment?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yes. While we were there, we were lucky enough to go through the Hurricane Hugo. There hadn't been a hurricane there for over 50 years, maybe more. It was the first hurricane, big hurricane, and the eye of the hurricane came right on top of us. Wow. I went outside and there was not one air, nothing. Just blue sky, the eye of the hurricane. We lost the third floor. My mother almost lost her life there because she was visiting.

MALONE: Oh, she was visiting.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So, I asked if I could put her in one of the rooms and we figured that the safest room would be the. For mental health, everything is bars and everything, and turns out it was right next to the glass door. And when she says, hey, Zoro, is your mom up there? I says, yeah, my mom is up there. I think 01:48:00she's about to blow away. I'm like what? My mom? We went up there, grabbed the rope, held on to the glass door. I went in, her windows had already busted, so there's wind all over her. And I see her pale face sitting down like this. She escaped Lebanon to come to.

Anyway, I grabbed her toothpaste. I grabbed something. I grabbed her, we rushed outside. They tied the door. Two minutes later, we lost the whole floor. She was safe. She was with me. She was downstairs. And let me continue on this. That's the time that I didn't sleep for three days. I love that, my hands were shaking at the end of the three days, got the letter of accommodation from the commanding officer. Part of it was because of the Hurricane Hugo, because I 01:49:00spoke Spanish and I had EMT training, they sent me to the triage, first line triage. Because the people that were coming, were coming from all over the islands, all the wounded from Puerto Rico and the smaller islands, Culebra, Vieques, all these places they're coming in. They don't speak English, so I had Spanish and the triage to be able to, with the doctor, guide them to wherever they had to go.

That was a fabulous experience. Thank goodness there wasn't very ill people, very wounded people that came in. We were able to treat everybody, even with just half of the hospital. Sometimes for a few minutes, we were without electricity, but Captain Ashwella did a wonderful job and we made it through. We made it through with flying colors. We got together so fast that I think that's 01:50:00what they train you in boot camp, how to immediately bond and work as one team in a sense of in an emergency. That's what I saw and I was impressed and I was happy to be part of it. Yeah.

MALONE: Just really quickly, that third floor, when it flew away, was anyone else up there?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: No, just everybody had left. They left my mom there because nobody goes, because they knew that nobody was there. I was just using it so.

MALONE: Oh. Yeah. Yeah.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. Do, the third floor, it's first, second and the third. Third floor, there was all the wards, ICU, mental. Yeah, nobody else was there. Yeah. It's been cleared out.

MALONE: Were there any deaths on the base?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Not that I know of. There has been deaths for different circumstances, but during the Hurricane Hugo in the base, not that I know of. I would've heard. Nobody died in the hospital. Yeah.


MALONE: Yeah. And were the damages to the base pretty significant?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Well, if I show you the pictures, you won't even believe it. Huge damages. They were entire battleship in the middle, older ones, in the middle of the road that they couldn't move afterwards. They made it into a discoteque, people would go and party there. They remodeled it and they did that.

MALONE: They made most out of it.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. For a while at least, when I was there. Yeah.


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. My building, I lived on the 27th floor. I usually move out as soon as I get there, which was also an experience because as soon as I got there, three days later, my car got there and I'm in the Caribbean and I want to have fun because I haven't been in the Caribbean before. So, I grab my car. I drive to the Loquillo, to one of the most beautiful beaches. I drop my 01:52:00bag. I go running in the water. I take a nice step. I come out, no bag. Keys, clothes, ID, everything is in there. I'm just in my swimsuit. And so, now I'm like, oh my gosh, I don't even know where the base is. I mean, it's far away. What am I going to do? No money, no nothing. No phone number, no cell, nothing. Well, what can a girl do?

I went to the road and I hitchhike, and the first car stopped. Swim suit, the first car, whoo. Where are you going? I said, I'm going to the base. Can you take me? In Spanish. And sure, sure. They took me to the base. I got lucky. I really got lucky. I got to the base. They need an ID for me to go in. So, no ID. I says, who are you? I give the petty officers a call. I live there. Call. They 01:53:00called the barracks and then nobody recognizes me because I just moved in. No, no, no. I'm like, I swear. I work here. They finally called my workplace and then they did okay, and they had to take me. Yeah. Lesson learned, when you first get some place, don't take off running and drop your purse.

But the second time around, I went to Loquillo, which is an island of Puerto Rico. This is what I used to do on my time off. Took the boat, went to Culebra Island. Now, I'm smart. I'm wise. I don't leave my bag out in the sand. I made a hole and I buried it and I put a stick on it. I went scuba diving. I came back, no stick. Now, I'm digging, digging, digging, digging the huge hole. I can't find my bag. Now I'm stuck in an island with no clothes, no. But I became a 01:54:00professional, how to get home without anything. I finally made it back, begging a lot and.



MALONE: How long did it take you? Do you remember how many hours?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK Yeah. It took me the whole day.

MALONE: The whole day?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, to get back. The whole day. Yeah. By then, I had friends though, the whole day, yeah.

MALONE: Mm-hmm. That's great. So, you mentioned that you lived in the barracks on base.


MALONE: For a week. Okay.


MALONE: And then did you move off base?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I moved off base in right next to the marina in Fajardo on the 27th floor.

MALONE: Mm-hmm. Okay.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: And then when the hurricane hit, the floor cracked on the first floor. They said abandon the building. Now, I live on the 27th floor. They said don't use the elevator. Oh my gosh.


MALONE: Oh, that move must have been.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: It was terrible. And so, I did the move. I moved because they said that it's condemned, the building. What they did is they just painted over the crack and they repopulated it. And I was like, wow, that was crazy. But I did find an apartment right on the beach in Loquillo for $400, which was $700, but because of damaged, no telephone, no electricity, they gave it to me for $400. Two weeks later, I had everything.

MALONE: And you still only paid the $400?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. For one year, then I got out. Yeah.

MALONE: Pretty nice. Yeah. Did you have a lot of interactions with the locals and civilians while you were there living off base?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh yes. Yes. Yes. A lot. Mostly with the military, but with civilians too. We do Puerto Ricans. Actually, few. Not too much because my friend Puerto Ricans were from Puerto Rico and they were in the military, so I 01:56:00hung around the Puerto Ricans, but military Puerto Ricans. Yeah.

MALONE: You mentioned a few things that you did during your downtime, just some of those day adventures. What were some other things you did with some of your friends then?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, I took scuba diving with the Seal instructor, which was very interesting. I think it was different than regular Seal, because they're like, when you go like this, it means you have no air. And then my friend's going, and I'm thinking she's under water. We're practicing low air, no air, low air, no air. She's going... And I'm like, okay. She's like. And it turns out she had no tank, no air in her tank. She's buzzing up. And I think maybe it was maybe done on purpose to get the idea. When you do with the Seals, you have to go prepare to every everything. I got my IDEA, I became a certified 01:57:00scuba diver, and every weekend of scuba diving, we went. We went all around the island, scuba diving. That's the local stuff. I went to take up sail sailing lessons. On the day of the test was the hurricane. It was an omen, don't do sailing. No, I'm kidding.

MALONE: Okay. Well, I think we are coming up on our second hour, so I think this will be a nice time to take our second break. So, this concludes the second segment with our interview with Leda Zoroghlian Patrick.

MALONE: All right. This begins segment three with our interview with Leda Zoroghlian Patrick. Leda, we left off talking about what life was like in Puerto Rico. I mean, is there anything you want to add real quick to that experience?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: No, life was good. It was good in military. It was good in civilian. Generally, everything was good. We had an airfield if we wanted to leave, catch military flights, we could. They taught us to fly if we wanted to. There was everything. Everything you wanted to do, there was to do, so no complaints. Puerto Rico is close to Venezuela, so I took a lot of the weekends when I was off, I used to go visit family in Venezuela and come back. That was a definite bonus for me being working and family at the same time. Yeah, Puerto Rico was great in everywhere. I highly recommend it.

MALONE: So, was your immediate family living in Venezuela then [inaudible]?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: It was my aunts and uncles. My mother and my sister were in Beirut.

MALONE: Beirut.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: My mother visit me and so did my sister, while we were in Puerto Rico, that she got caught in the Hurricane Hugo there. But she loved it, 01:59:00so yeah. Everything was good. I had a lot of opportunity to go to the island, to St. Thomas, to St. John's, with the boat planes and one of them didn't work right. It took off and the hydraulic system fell. It fell back down in the runway. It swerved over, everybody came, put down the fire. Then we just got in a different plane and went, continued our journey. Yeah, where there is a will, there is a way.

MALONE: Wow. Yeah. That's amazing. I know that you had mentioned earlier that maybe if you got certified for EMT while you were in Puerto Rico.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: When I was in Portsmouth.

MALONE: Portsmouth. Oh.


MALONE: But you were working as an EMT in Puerto Rico as well?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: As well. I pulled duty in the hospital, driving ambulances and in the back of the ambulance. That was funny because four people had duty at all times, two ambulances. Whoever gets up first and gets to the ambulance, gets to go. I love being first in everything. So, the way I would sleep, because it's a 24 hour degree, I would lie down straight in my uniforms, straighten all the wrinkles in the pants and just like a dead person. Take my shoes off so I'd be ready to go. I caught every single one, either as the driver or the backseat. Some people did not. It was always, let's go against Leda. Who's going to be with Zoro, because they knew I was going to be first.

Anyway, I loved what I did, so. It wasn't pretty. Car accidents, a lot of bar fights, drunk and disorderly, a lot of that. I represented the Navy base, Roosevelt Roads, in a basketball team in Jacksonville and then in the volleyball 02:01:00team in Pensacola. Those were like two mini vacations. And then I also went to represented the hospital with the Vice Admiral of the Caribbean fleet. They had to send an enlisted officer, they sent me. There, I got nominated for the center of the quarter. And so, yeah. And so, it was about four, five of us and people were going in and out. There was a panel of master chief, chiefs and officers, and everybody asked the people questions and we're outside listening. And every time somebody came along, what they say? What they say, what they say? And no, they ask questions, just answer the questions.


And I was kind of shy about. We're taught not to talk about ourselves in my house, so it's hard to say, oh, I did this, or I did that. Not like now, no. When I went in, I had done so much at that year. I had represented both volleyball, basketball. I had done the lip-syncing contest, the earthquake. I had gone to school. That time, I was really busy volunteering and doing all of this kind of things that soon as I went in, the chief said, "Well, Zoro, you're going to be the only person we're not going to ask anything. Just say what you've done. You got this." And I didn't know what to say. I told them, I said, well, I haven't done anything that I didn't love doing. It cost me nothing to do and I enjoyed it and I really don't deserve any praises from anybody. And well, I didn't get it.


That's when I learned, you know what? When somebody says talk about yourself, you better make the best of it. But they did see me and even though I was a third class petty officer, they gave me the job of a first class petty officer in the food service department. They sent me to small defense purchasing and the patient guest relations, and they stuck me in a first class petty officer's job, ordering the food for the hospital, $60,000 a year, which I got a letter of recommendation for actually because of it.

MALONE: You were in charge of the hospital's food budget?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Not the budget, the ordering. Ordering the food. And so, I changed the menu. Yeah, I added a lot. I added gyros to the menu. It was very boring, so I changed it. I had the how to change it because I was controlling 02:04:00the money with the officer, with the officer she with the, who was in charge of course of the. What do you call that? Of the food department where we made the menus, and then we ordered. They were very happy. Everybody was very happy, morale wise, with not only the music that we incorporated there, but the food that we changed. People would come from out of the hospital to eat in the hospital. So, that was nice.

MALONE: Mm-hmm. Did you say the music as well? In the dining halls and the cafeterias?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. Yeah, because the personnel that worked in the food department, they were Puerto Rican, so I see them, they would sneak out in the back, little music in the back. I talk to the chief and I says, these guys need some motivation with the music. We brought the music forward so they could cook 02:05:00while they're listening to the music. That music passed on to the chow hall and people were listening to it and they were more interested about the letters. Every Christmas, we would get all the Latin music and we do the paranas, and the paranas is walking all around the hospital, singing guayas, which is the Christmas songs, and a lot of non-Latinos would join us, just to do the caravan, and they got more involved in the Latin culture, specifically in Christmas when we did the paranas in the hospital.

MALONE: Mm. That's great. Yeah. Just going back to when you represented the base for basketball and volleyball. Can you just tell me a little bit about how this came about for you and what the training for that was like and just the overall experience on that?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, the basketball team, every. So, let's say we are the hospital, the hospital female basketball team has their team. Let's say the Navy Exchange has their team or supply has their team. We all get together, fight against each other. The winner represents the basketball team of Puerto Rico in Jacksonville. We ended up winning the basketball, so we went and represented the whole team, but the volleyball team, we did not. And they needed people to fill the. They says, get Zoro. She's a good athlete. Though I was an extremely good volleyball player, they knew I was an athlete, so they took me along and I did get to play, but I wasn't starting at that time. But it was. Both ways, I represent. In the basketball, I'm the point guard.

MALONE: Mm-hmm. Okay. Mm-hmm.



MALONE: That was just a nice, fun experience.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Fun as experience, and then you get to bring a trophy home if you win. We didn't win, but we brought memories home.

MALONE: Oh yeah. Just as good, right?


MALONE: Mm. Okay, can you tell me a little bit more about the schooling you were doing at this time as well?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yes. I went to, let's see, New Hampshire College, New Hampshire University and Central Texas College while I was in Puerto Rico. I got off work at 4:00 and then I went to exercise for two hours. Then at 6:00, I went to school, it's a four hours, two classes, two hours each. 10:00 I would get out of school, then on the way home, driving to home, I'd stop and see my buddies at the bar, say hi, half hour. You have to have a balance with everything. I say hi to them, continue on. I get home at about 12:00. Sleep, 4:00 in the morning.


Get home at about 12:00, sleep, 4:00 in the morning, I get up, get dressed, get to work. That's probably it. You have to find the time to work, to study, and to see your friends. Weekends was all fun. Weekends was all fun.

MALONE: So what were you studying in school?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I continued with political science.

MALONE: You continued with that.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. Political science and history was my pastime. I never considered it work, because I love reading about it. Police science interested me, but political science was my to go.

MALONE: Yeah. So did you end up finishing a degree with that?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So, no, I did two years worth before I got out of school. So, yeah. Two years. Okay. It's a four-year degree. I got two years.

MALONE: Gotcha. Okay. That's great. Okay. So I also noticed that at the time, when you were. You were stationed at Roosevelt Roads, correct? The USS Iowa turret explosion off the coast of Puerto Rico. Were you there for that in '89?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, I was. They brought in some wounded to the base and we treated them. Then they were [inaudible] parted back to mainland and they sent them to Virginia, actually. From Puerto Rico back to Virginia. We had a few cases there, but mostly the parachuters did their exercising there, so every year we had a whole bunch of parachuting accidents because of broken leg, broken this. A lot of exercising accidents as well. Yeah. Not to count. Anything that happened around the islands, they would come over to us.

MALONE: So would you say that like car accidents, bar fights, and parachuting were some of the more common injuries that you've come across?


ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: And yes. A lot of drowning.

MALONE: Drownings?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. We had the tank for the bends. For bends for. The Seals had the tank for bends. So if you had accident scuba diving, then you can go in and fix your bends. You know that the machine with that extra oxygen that you go in there in case you get nitrogen narcosis stuff, stuff like that.

MALONE: Gotcha.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So, yeah. Accidents. Yeah. Everything you mentioned.

MALONE: Gotcha. So, I know you mentioned also as well that obviously you got to go visit some family in Venezuela. Your mom and sister came to visit. So at what point during your service did you tell them about the fact that you were in the service?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh, so, when I got to A school, my aunt was in Wisconsin, so I told them right away. I'm here, I'm in Great Lakes, I joined. So that was 02:11:00known the first six months. Yeah. But they couldn't do anything about it because as what I would call, I was the property of the United States government. And I loved it.

MALONE: What'd they have to say when you told them about that?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So they thought I was crazy, but they saw the change in me. And most importantly, the change in them when they saw me, which is what I worked to do. I got respect from them, which I always had, but I was the little sister or the little girl. So they were very happy I joined, but they wanted me out, and I didn't.

MALONE: Yeah. So how long was your commitment for, and now you said that it had been extended, but.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, four years was my committed. I extended for three more months. And before I got out, I had a cheat sheet that says, you ask permission 02:12:00to get out. And everybody says, yes, yes, yes, yes. And my commander, the CO of the hospital says, "Disapproved. Come and see me." I'm like, "Oh my God." When I went to see him, he offered me schooling to go back as a civilian. He offered me school and to come back as an officer. He says, "Don't leave the military, stay in." But on the other hand, my mom was riding this, "Please come home. You have to." And I felt like I had to set something right. Because I had gone in in the wrong way. And then this would set it up. So I left the military. I wish I had a parallel life where I could have stayed, because I loved it. But I owed it to my family and that year I spent with them in Lebanon, it was magical because my mom ended up dying at a very early age, and so did my sister, and that year I enjoyed their company very much.


MALONE: So then leaving the military after Puerto Rico. I guess, where did you go from there, then?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So I went to Lebanon.

MALONE: You to go Lebanon.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I did everything I could not to go. And then when I got out, I went straight to Lebanon for a year and a half. Almost a couple of years. Joined the basketball team there and won the championship. Lebanese championship. The only Armenian team who won the whole of Lebanese championship. I was the point guard and we enjoyed it and there was a huge fight again. But yeah, I enjoyed my time. I practiced my Arabic, my French, got back in shape with the culture. Because you tend to forget. I was extremely, what they were saying, Americanized, because I wouldn't speak any Armenian with who. But they loved it. They're pro-American, our friends in Lebanon, all of them 02:14:00pro-American, and it's just when Saddam Hussein. So I'm Desert Storm. So I was in, and I was hoping to go in Desert Storm with my hospital, because they told me, "In four years you're going to be called back." I'm like, "Ha, it's been four years. I'm going to go. And I'm going to. " But I ended up getting out. So yeah, during Desert Storm. I didn't get to go. I wish I had. And at that time, it's the closest the woman could get to some sort of action, because we weren't allowed to go to fight for the first line.

MALONE: So did you ever think about reenlisting then, after you had gone out, when you were in Lebanon, about coming back? When the Gulf War was just.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I was there for a year and a half and then I came back to Wisconsin planning on going back to school, graduating, and then maybe reenlisting, because I didn't want to go back as an enlisted and lose a rank. 02:15:00You know, go back instead of forward. But if I had graduated, then I could go in as an officer. But that year got so cold, minus 60 degrees with the wind chill factor, I thought I'd take a vacation to Venezuela. And I did. And it lasted 20 years, my vacation. So that's what happened.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So in Venezuela, I did put my political science degree, well, not degree, but whatever I had done, the two years that I had done, to use, because... I got married there. My mother-in-law was the cultural attache of Venezuela to Cuba [inaudible]. So she hired me as her assistant, which was great. I planned all the parties for the ambassadors, councils, cocktail after 02:16:00cocktail after cocktail. It was a blast, and we were working with artists, Venezuelan artists who were in their way magical, and we wanted to make them be seen in the world. So that's what we worked on. Mostly in Cuba. And I got to spend some time in Cuba, which was very interesting. I don't know if.

MALONE: Feel free to share whatever you feel comfortable with.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. So she has a working area in Cuba where we show all the artists of Venezuela. They donate it and we. It's a very pretty big place. And it's now a museum. It's called the Museum of Carmen Montilla Tinoco. And then where you can go see all the Venezuelan artists' work there. And Cuba was a 02:17:00very interesting place at the end when the Venezuelan government switched hands into the socialist Chavez hands, I stopped my work and I stopped going to Cuba, because I'm not, I don't like communism or socialism or nothing like that. So I cut my ties and I get went back to the regular, my regular life.

MALONE: Your regular civilian life in Venezuela.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: In Venezuela. Yeah. Not diplomatic in the sense with the diplomats and everything. Because I thought diplomacy would be my thing, but it turns out, I'm a straight shooter. And if you're a straight shooter, you can't be a diplomat. You got to, not a weasel, but you have to say things in a very nice way, which sometimes I cannot. So, I had to step out.


MALONE: So what did you do from there, then, in Venezuela?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So from there, the family had a coffee plantation, so we do coffee, a thousand hectares. We hired twenty-five people only as the workers, plus the helpers. So during coffee, we're very, very busy. So when we started again to pick up on the coffee, we set up 750,000 new plants, of coffee plants. That I did because I had to leave Caracas for two years because I was working against the government there.

MALONE: What years were those?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So those were year 2000 and. Oh no, no. Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah. 2001, '02, '03, ever since Chavez. Chavez won 1999, and ever since then I started working. I quit in 2001, I had already quit. And so that's when my 02:19:00corpsman training came actually very helpful, because I would go and march the peaceful demonstrations against the government, and it turns out that they weren't very peaceful. So I was in the front line and the people were getting hurt. Some had bullet wounds, and most of the. I was extremely, extremely touched and I can't believe the, how valiant the older population is. All the older population in the frontline. They can't run, they can't go anywhere. And they're being bombed with gas bombs. I stayed behind to make sure that those elderly people, they made it out safely. And so vinegar or anything, one by one, because the young people, they run back and they save themselves, but the elder 02:20:00people, they go forward. Just think that they are just like superheroes. And then when they get bombed, they get trampled upon. So yeah, I did a lot of corpsman work there.

MALONE: That's very interesting. Do you have any specific protest memories that you'd be willing to share?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh sure. I have so many, but I don't know if I have the time. One time, this elderly lady, I had an eye on her, because I knew they were going to bomb, and they did. I went out in for her. She said, "I can't see. I can't see." And the truth is, I can't see either. I put her the vinegar in her mouth. I put one and I kept opening one eye and closing, walking her through because it was so, so bad. I got her through, and people saw me like a savior, because it just seemed like she wasn't going to make it. I says, "You guys, don't say this, go do it yourself. Look for people. Each one. Make teams. You 02:21:00and you. You and you. Never leave one person behind. Go in teams." This is all stuff we learned in the military. You'll never make it alone.

And then they were. Their march was not one step behind. I says, well, instead of running backwards, guys, we're millions. Run forward. Nobody can against. I was the only one. So one time, I'm holding the flag and they were standing in front and then I'm thinking that I have a whole bunch of people behind me. It turns out they had left a long time ago. I'm counting to ten to run back. And I was the only one left. So yeah, I guess there's a lot of stories. One time we were driving and then they took the hand, the bomb, the gas bomb and we were driving and they threw it inside our car and my friend didn't know what to do 02:22:00it. He started rolling down the window, he rolled up the window and put the gas pedal and we [inaudible]. So my friend got shot, actually, in the face. Am I talking too much about this?

MALONE: No, go for it.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: My friend got shot in the face. They were looking for him, because he was the first military man who left the military. So they were looking for him April, this was on April 12th. The only day we were free and that we were able to.

MALONE: What year was that?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: 2000 and maybe '01. Maybe. And I brought him to my house and my house, I was very active, so my house was being watched. So somebody says "They're coming into your house, so be careful." So we grabbed my friend. 02:23:00[inaudible] ourselves and went to the American embassy because somebody had told me, "Go to the American embassy. This is the password." Because I was a little involved. "You give them the password, they're going to let you in." So I said, "Okay, what's the password?" He says, "Joe Garcia." "Joe Garcia is the." "Yes. You just go up over there. Some big shots are telling me that. Just go over there, tell them Joe Garcia, and then they're going to let you in." I said, "Okay, come on guys. Let's go. We're going to the American embassy." So we go to the embassy, here's the Marine.

I said, "Let me talk, okay." To everybody. "Don't say a word." I'm the only American. "Don't say a word." So we pull over, I pulled my window down. Says, "Joe Garcia." And the guy says, "Excuse me?" I'm like, "Joe Garcia." I said. "I don't know who he is. What are you trying to tell me, lady?" I'm like, "Oh, well 02:24:00they. " He says, "Step over to the side over here." So we went, maybe it was the wrong entrance. I don't know. There's 10 of us. We pulled over to the side and then they called the consul. She comes in. The way she walked, it was impressive. She was moving the earth when she walked. Wow. Bam, bam, bam. I loved it. She came in and she says, "Are there Americans here?" And I'm like, oh boy. "You, come with me." Just like that. I'm like, I'm going to walk with her. And I was late putting in for my taxes. I was busy fighting the government. I haven't done my taxes. I'm like, oh my gosh, she's going to get me. I haven't done my taxes now.

So anyway, she said, "You know your social security number?" I says, "Yeah." And I told her and she says, "You can come in." She says, "The rest, no, because they're not." And I said, "Well, if they don't come in. " I'm trying to be the 02:25:00hero. "If they don't come in, then I won't come in." And she said, "All right, well, then you stay outside." So she picked me up, but she gave us protection. And then when Chavez fell, they escorted us back home. Felt safe and protected, not in the embassy, but outside in the base of the embassy. So yeah, I've had that experience. It's fun. And I know that if something were to happen and if you're oversea, go to the embassy. They will take you in. Just memorize your social security number. Don't go without. Just memorize your social security number, you'll be fine.

MALONE: That's great. And your friend, was he okay?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So he's okay. He's got asylum here. Yeah. He got in. They had to stitch him up and after that, many, many other things happen, but yeah, he's good, and he's in the United States.

MALONE: So it kind of sounds like your military experience and your experience as a Corpsman really in influenced your time in Venezuela and helped you survive 02:26:00as well.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: A lot. Survive and help. Help the people who needed help and the organization. I organized a lot of things, and that's one of the reasons I had to go and live in the farm, because it was time to settle down a little bit. Yeah.

MALONE: Yeah. So then, you mentioned then that you left for two years. Where did you go during that time?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: To the farmhouse? Which is only half an hour away from Caracas.

MALONE: Gotcha.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah, it was nice. Nice break. With horses, I had five horses, and it was nice.

MALONE: Took a breather. And then you came back, though. To Caracas.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: I came back, yeah. The thing with the military is once you live the military, there's nothing like it. You always look, I can really empathize with the people who leave it, because there's nothing like it. The adrenaline you make when you're in there, you can't surpass in the civilian 02:27:00life. You will always look for something to give you a rush. And I got into that, and it gave me a rush, and I went very deep in. And when I left, I took a two year breather. When I came back in, I know that I couldn't help that way. I have to have my community. And not nationally. I have to help the small community. And if everybody helps their small community and if you add them together, then we win nationally. So I, because I focused on my community and only my community. And it did make a difference. I taught my neighbors how to fend for themselves. I got them in touch with the police. The police gave them some tricks to protect themselves, some moves to escape when the time comes. How to. Well we're not going to. Is enough.


MALONE: For sure.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Well, how to. Yeah, no.

MALONE: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's great. So you did your duty in that sense as well.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: In that sense, and it filled my antsy. It filled my antsy. Yeah.

MALONE: So then from there, what did you do next?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: So from there, I said, well it's time for. There was no way to beat the government and everything. I says, it's time for me to go home. Home for me is the United States. So they called me gringa in Venezuela, where I was born. I was being called gringa, and I loved it. And I didn't mind. When they were doing the demonstrations, I passed as a periodista [news reporter] like CNN, what do you call it? Press. So I could go and just stand next to the soldiers and see how they're doing their moves against the civilians, and they 02:29:00would think I'm a periodista and I just. And then I would go to the other side, I says, "Hey, they coming in on this side, this side this side. Do this, do that. Because I just didn't fit in. I have an accent when I speak Spanish, just like I have an accent when I speak English. The only language I don't have an accent is Armenian. And I barely use it, Armenian.

So my sister got sick in Wisconsin. So I came to Wisconsin. No sense in fighting a war you can't win. But family always comes first. So I came to Wisconsin for my daughter's six and my sister had cancer. I had a chance to help her for nine months and stay with her until she passed away. Yeah.

MALONE: Sorry to hear that.


MALONE: And then you stayed in Wisconsin then since then?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: That's it. Yes. I [inaudible] started nursing school hoping to help my sister, and graduated for her name, in honor of her name. So yeah, I 02:30:00became a registered nurse and my daughter is going to school, and she might become a doctor and we're in the medical field now. My nephews, two of my nephews joined the military. I took them. I convinced them to join that. So that would be good, but still here in Wisconsin, I would say, "Oh yeah, I was in the Navy." And they say, "Oh whose Navy?" And some people say "The United States of America Navy?" I says, "Yeah. The United States of America." Yeah. And when I joined the American Legions here, I walked in and the guys were like, "Hey, hey, come on in." And everything. And the wives took me, "Come on, it's over this way, the kitchen." And they're like, "No, no, this is one of ours. This is the veteran. Come over this way."

MALONE: She's ours.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. That's a nice bunch.


MALONE: Yeah. So you are active in your local legion.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Not very active, but yes. I pay my dues, because I think everybody should because we need representation in Washington. So everybody needs to be, one way or the other, known and paying their dues, because money is necessary.

MALONE: Yeah. It also sounds like your military experience has influenced you to suggest it to other people as well. So have you been able to rub off on others as well?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Everybody I see. Everybody I see [inaudible] the military got to lose. I'm trying to convince my daughter every day. If you do this, then you get this and this and just wearing the uniform, my goodness. What a good feeling. Just to say you're a veteran. Sometimes it's unbelievable. It was such a long time ago, but we still fold our t-shirts in the military way. We still wake up early. We still make our beds. Everything is something to do with the 02:32:00military. Yeah.

MALONE: So military continues to have this extreme presence in your life to this day.


MALONE: Everything.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Everything is military, especially because my husband was thirty-one years in the military. So my four years is memorable for me, but thirty-one years is memorable for a lot of other people.

MALONE: That's amazing. So you are truly a military family, would you say.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh my goodness, yes. I'm blessed to marry my husband, Robert Patrick, and he is the best man I've ever known. Very military and also straight. Correct and a straight shooter. And that's exactly what I'm looking for and I'm used to, so yeah.

MALONE: So when you talk to others about your military service or about potentially joining the military, what would be the one thing you would have to 02:33:00say about it?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: It's going to be the best time of your life. When some people say to me, "Thank you for your service." I says, "Oh no." I said, "It was the best time of my life." I says, "I did it not only with passion, but with a lot of love. That was my duty to do so. Thank you for existing so I could have had that time." Almost having said that. There's a lot of places like Home Depot that they have the veteran's parking. A lot of places have it right in front, right next to the handicapped people. Parking space and Home Depot doesn't. Home Depot has it handicap, civilians, and then way further out, veterans parking. And I always go and look for it, and I go and park way over there in the veterans park. And I say to myself, this is perfect, because we shouldn't get 02:34:00first place. We're not here to get first place, to go in first. We're here to serve the civilians. And so the handicap come first, the civilians come next, and then afterwards come the veterans. We don't need to go first. We need to go last to make sure that everybody else goes before us. And I don't like it when it's rednecks in front and pompous way. Says, if you're a veteran, you need to look out for others, unless you're older and then we look out for each other, of course.

MALONE: Yeah. And you continue to do that now in your work as well, being an RN?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Oh yes. Oh yes. So when I work as an RN, I work as wellness RN. I want for people to grow old with dignity, with maintaining their self, their autonomy, and their dignity. So I do either bilingual health coaching, I 02:35:00do screenings. I make sure you're eating properly, exercising properly to live the best as you can as a longer period in time as you can so you don't depend on anybody. So that's what my focus in. And then just wellness. The old, your shots, your immunizations and the COVID of course, we gave a lot of COVID shots. I guess I've given close to 400 shots in one day. So that was pretty fast.

MALONE: That's amazing.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Yeah. Yeah, that's what I do as an RN. I'm an independent contractor. So I get to choose what company I go to or what company I don't go to.


MALONE: And where did you say you graduated nursing school from?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Waukesha Technical College. WCTC.

MALONE: Gotcha.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Which is wonderful. Yeah.

MALONE: That's great. I guess is there anything else you would like to cover in this interview, or anything else that we missed that you'd like to go back to? Any last minute stories to tell?

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Last minute stories to tell? Well, I think I've covered, I'm sure there's a lot of stories, but I just want to encourage everybody to join, join, help your country, make your stories of your own, have an adventure, and then sit down and hopefully you'll have the opportunity that you have given me to tell your story so it stays in the archive. I thank you so much for coming. It's been a pleasure telling my story. I've never had the chance to do this before, and I feel grateful that you're here. Thank you so much.


MALONE: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.


MALONE: It's been a pleasure, really. Yeah.

ZOROGHLIAN PATRICK: Thank you. Thank you.

MALONE: All right. This concludes the interview with Leda Zoroghlian Patrick. Thank you.