Big Lake native provides medical readiness from U.S. Navy’s largest master jet base


Hospitalman Valeria Ortiz, a native of Big Lake, Texas, provides beneficiary care and expeditionary medical readiness while serving with Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Lemoore at Naval Health Clinic Lemoore.

Ortiz joined the Navy two years ago.

“I joined the Navy in order to pursue my ultimate goal of becoming a surgeon," said Ortiz. “Joining the Navy has provided me with the educational benefits that will allow me to achieve my goals."

Growing up in Big Lake, Ortiz attended Reagan County High School and graduated in 2021.

Skills and values similar to those found in Big Lake are important to succeed in the military.

“My high school experience taught me to get along with everyone,” said Ortiz. “I learned to avoid judgment."

These lessons have helped Ortiz while serving in the Navy.

Naval Hospital Lemoore was originally commissioned in July 1968 as a 67-bed hospital by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, D.C. In May 2000, the current building was dedicated and in September 2017 it was redesignated as Naval Health Clinic Lemoore.

Naval Health Clinic Lemoore provides quality health care to more than 18,000 people at NAS Lemoore, California and NAS Fallon, Nevada to ensure the Navy and Marine warfighters are medically ready to fight today, tomorrow, and beyond. The command also provides dental care and medical administrative support to Navy, Marine Corps and international students at the Naval Postgraduate School, Defense Language Institute and the Center for Information Dominance in Monterey, California.

With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

"Our mission remains timeless - to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level," said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. "This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”

As a member of the Navy, Ortiz is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy supports national defense by playing a critical role in defending the nation and protecting our freedoms," said Ortiz.

Ortiz has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“I was proud to graduate from pharmacy technician 'C' school,” said Ortiz. “I enjoyed challenging myself, and graduating gave me the confidence to pursue a higher education."

As Ortiz and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“It makes me proud to be the first servicemember from my family,” said Ortiz. “I am also proud to be serving my country as a person of Mexican heritage."

Ortiz is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank my high school precalculus teacher, Mr. Little, who taught me how the world was really going to be,” added Ortiz. “He was honest, supportive, and expected a lot out of me.”