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Putnam Valley Native Serves at Navy Medicine Facility in Florida

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Payla Backus of Putnam Valley

Payla Backus, a native of Putnam Valley, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Pensacola operating out of Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.

Backus, a 2013 Putnam Valley High School graduate, joined the Navy four years ago.

“My brother and husband both were in the Navy which allowed me the opportunity to make a life in the Navy for myself,” said Backus.

Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Pensacola, also known as Naval Hospital Pensacola (NHP), is older than 26 U.S. States and is in its second century of service. It is one of the country’s oldest and most respected military medical facilities. NHP continues to provide health care to over 150,000 beneficiaries in its main facility and ten branch clinics across five states.

Today, the sixth Naval Hospital building was the first to be built outside of the NAS Pensacola installation. Initially commissioned as the Naval Regional Aerospace Medical Command in 1978, it continues its mission of providing healthcare to America’s heroes and their families throughout the Gulf Coast region. In 2001, a 2-story, 73,000 square-foot Outpatient Clinic was added to the Naval Hospital.

NHP’s mission is to deliver high-quality healthcare to warfighters and beneficiaries, ensuring a medically ready force through strategic integration, innovation, and well-trained personnel.

Serving in the Navy means Backus is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is important to national defense because there are just so many working parts that many people don’t know about,” said Backus.

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through underwater fiber optic, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States are directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

Backus and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“Going back to school and working towards a bachelor’s degree is something I am really proud of,” said Backus.

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

“Serving in the Navy gives you a sense of purpose, as you are a small part of a bigger picture — a bigger mission,” added Backus.

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