By Megan Brown, Navy Office of Community Outreach
ATLANTIC OCEAN – A 2014 LaSalle-Peru Township High School graduate and native of Peru, Illinois, is providing medical support aboard USS Iwo Jima, a U.S. Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. Petty Officer Third Class Kayla Tondi joined the Navy six years ago to progress her career in the medical field. Today, Tondi serves with Fleet Surgical Team 6 as a hospital corpsman with responsibilities similar to an Emergency Medical Technician or licensed practical-nurse.
“Iwo Jima Medical Department delivers high quality primary and emergency medical care anytime, anywhere,” said Commander Jeremy Ennis, Head of the Iwo Jima Medical Department. “We provide routine medical services to all the sailors, Marines and civilian staff onboard and Marines returning from the field. We offer preventative services including PHA, Audiogram, vaccinations, and HIV blood draw. We have a basic core laboratory, full blood bank, and standard X-ray. For emergency services we have a fully stocked Emergency Room, Operating Rooms, 14 bed ICU, and 36 bed medical inpatient ward.”
Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers, Tondi is most proud of being selected as one of 18 out of 2,000 qualified people for her position. As a member of the U.S. Navy, Tondi, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a tradition providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the navy means an opportunity to better myself while serving my country,” added Tondi.