Navy Hospital Corpsman Keri Lipperini
Keri Lipperini

Prince Frederick, MD – After two years of community college, Keri Lipperini recalled she wasn’t sure of her future but knew she wanted to be in the healthcare field. The Calvert County resident grew up in a single-parent home in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Lipperini told that while she had satisfactory grades in school, she knew she could do better. That gave her the impetus to consider the military. “A lot of my friends joined the service,” said Lipperini. “Because I wanted to do medical, Army and Navy were the only two choices.”

After speaking to an acquaintance of her mother—a Navy captain, Lipperini decided the Navy it would be. In 1993, she was boot camp-bound and headed to Florida. At that point the U.S. Navy was starting to heal its wounds sustained in the infamous Tailhook Scandal which occurred in Las Vegas during the waning days of the summer of 1991, a daunting time for a young woman to enlist in the branch.

During her four-year hitch, Lipperini’s role as a hospital corpsman took her to locations like Chicago and, eventually, Bethesda Naval Hospital. She also stationed on the USNS Comfort for several months. The non-combatant vessel is staffed by Medical, Dental, Nurse and Chaplain corps personnel. “Luckily, we were between wars,” said Lipperini.

in 1994, Lipperini married her husband, Michael, who was in the Air Force at the time. The couple was living in Greenbelt while Michael was still active and Keri and gotten out of the Navy when they began to consider where they would like to live to start a family. Lipperini was working at an agency aiding paralyzed veterans when several coworkers who happened to be living in Calvert County told her how was a great place to be. “I’ve always loved the water,” she said, adding that she would frequently drive from Bethesda to Naval Air Station Patuxent River (NAS PAX) to visit with Navy colleagues who were stationed there. She and Michael “took the long drive down to Calvert and I fell in love with the water,” she recalled. “It felt like home.”

In Calvert County, Lipperini was able to pursue her passion for aiding veterans—those who, as civilians were clients of Adult Day Care. In fact, during her stint as director of Adult Day Care, she was able to procure a Veterans Administration (VA) contract for the facility. Lipperini subsequently went to work for the Calvert County Office on Aging, where she continued to help aging military veterans obtain VA benefits. She is currently working in Washington, DC.

Looking back on her service experience, Lipperini affirmed, “the Navy saved my life. I really did not know what I wanted to do. It gave me the push that I needed.”

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