EXPERIENCES ABROAD HELP BACK AT HOME
With life-changing experiences from his time as a Navy Hospital Corpsman, Scott Nado has continued a life of helping others in the medical field.
Nado grew up in Troutdale, just down the street from Sweetbriar Elementary School, where he attended. Nado grew up with two older sisters, his father, who worked for the city of Portland, and his mother, a dental hygienist and substitute teacher.
“We had a very happy and adventurous and fun family,” Nado said.
He then transferred to Corbett School District in middle school and attended Corbett High School. At Corbett, Nado played a few sports like basketball, football, and track and field.
“I was really good at the 400 meters and ended up winning State in my junior year,” Nado said.
After high school, Nado did a few years at Mt. Hood Community College but was unsure what to do with his future. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was in Mt. Hood. I was just spinning my wheels trying to figure out what to do,” Nado said. “My brother-in-law Charles, who went to the University of Portland, did ROTC for the Air Force. He was very adamant that I join because of all the experiences I could get from it.”
Nado’s best friend from high school James, a Navy hospital corpsman, also encouraged him to join the Navy.
“James showed me around a base one day and told me about the process,” Nado said. “I told my parents how the Navy could set me up well in life. If it wasn’t for James and Charles, I don’t think I would have ever joined.” Though still unsure of what he wanted to do within the parameters of the Navy, Nado decided to stick to the medical side since the Navy Corpsman had a great reputation and could work alongside other branches.
Nado went to boot camp in Texas and started working as a hospital corpsman at the Navy Medical Center in San Diego, where he stayed for two years from 2014-2016.
As a hospital corpsman, Nado oversaw the medical readiness for fellow service people. “We did everything from handing out Motrin to putting tourniquets on life-threatening wounds,” Nado said. “The scope of practice for a corpsman is very wide. We are kind of like a jack-of-all-trades.”
He was then transferred to Camp Pendleton, a base between San Diego and Los Angeles, where he served with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines and the 2d Battalion 5th Marines. Nado did two deployments with the Eleventh Marine Expeditionary Unit and the 31st Expeditionary Unit.
“(Pendleton) was a lot more of an operational tempo with the Marines. I was in field operations, doing work-ups and getting ready for field operation,” Nado said.
As a corpsman, Nado also had to do nearly everything that the Marines he was working with were doing. “We also learn to do the things that Marines do from training with them. We go to the field with them, do their hikes, and go to the range,” Nado said. “We do nearly everything they do and a little more.”
Although work was rigorous at times, Nado said he had plenty of time to enjoy the sights of Southern California, and when he was deployed, he could visit tons of different countries and cultures.
“During my deployments, I went to ten different countries, we left out of San Diego from a ship to the Philippines, Africa, Guam, Dubai, Kuwait and Syria for a little bit,” Nado said.
Nado became a Petty Officer First Class and joined the reserves for two years before leaving in 2020.
“The biggest thing that I learned from my time in military service is just being able to take a breath and know that you can find a solution for anything, also knowing you have probably been through worst,” Nado said with a small laugh. “I try to relate that to life now, I try to tell myself that things could be a lot worse.”
Those tough times would come quickly after leaving the Navy as Nado’s mother died from cancer during that transition to civilian life. Though it was difficult on both fronts to navigate his mother’s death and adjust to his new life, Nado made it through thanks to his time in the military and his dad’s support.
In 2019, Nado decided to go Mt. Hood Community College to get his nursing degree, which he will finish this upcoming spring. “I always found medicine so interesting, and I love being able to help people,” Nado said. “It is also so fascinating and there is so much you can do.”
Nado also recently got married to his wife Kaitlyn in early September. After finishing up his nursing degree at Mt. Hood, Nado plans to get his bachelor’s degree in the science of nursing at OHSU online.