NWA Veteran fights COVID-19 crisis from the frontlines

Veterans Voices

From serving overseas to fighting a health crisis on his home turf, an army veteran finds himself giving back to his community in a different way.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — “My grandfather was in the military, both my parents were in the military, I had an older brother join the army,” Greg Esquivel said.

Greg Esquivel joined the army in 2005 as a 13 Fox and Forward Observer.
He was deployed twice to Iraq and served in Afghanistan.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to just a young kid coming out of high school so I decided why not join the army,” Esquivel said.

He was honorably discharged in 2012 when he decided to come back to Arkansas and give back to the community in a different way.

“Having a more personal aspect to service is what guided me to nursing,” Esquivel said.

Esquivel graduated from Arkansas State, moved back home to NWA to work as E.R. nurse for veterans.

“Hearing some of these short stories, whether it was they were graduating from basic training when Kennedy got shot and how that impacted their lives or even veterans who have served in some of the same units as me, that really goes a long ways,” Esquivel said.

Esquivel also traveled to New Orleans at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help, an experience he recalls as eye opening.

“Scary to see how serious it was and how i wasn’t really sure our little corner of the world was prepared for it or not,” Esquivel said.

When he’s not helping patients in the E.R. he’s giving back through Home for Dinner, a non-profit that helped Esquivel pay his way through school.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to pay it forward – you know something that helped me when I was in school,” Esquivel said.

Whether it’s at the frontlines of pandemic or outside of the E.R. Esquivel says he’ll always give back to those who’ve sacrificed so much.

“It’s said a lot in the emergency room, you can be the best part of someone’s worst day,” Esquivel said. “The ones you have close keep the close and the ones you don’t have close, maybe they should be a little closer.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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