Voices of the VaANG: Lt. Col. Delia Acuna, 192nd Medical Group nurse practitioner

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Michelle Alvarez and Staff Sgt. Kellyann Elish
  • 192nd Wing

This edition of Voices of the VaANG proudly introduces Lt. Col. Delia Acuna, 192nd Medical Group nurse practitioner, with the 192nd Wing, Virginia Air National Guard, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia. As a first-generation service member, she proudly recognizes being a trailblazer in her family for generations to follow. Today, her younger brother and two of her nephews have followed suit with their own legacies of military service. Acuna has demonstrated a lifetime of leadership and service, guided by compassion, resilience and a deep sense of duty.

Q: Where are you from originally?
My roots trace back to San Francisco, California. My father was a resilient migrant worker. Some of my earliest memories are of him putting in long days in the fields and orchards. He instilled in me a proud Mexican heritage and his same unwavering work ethic that continues to drive me to be the best version of myself.

Q: How would you describe your path leading up to the VaANG?
Life’s challenges have shaped me profoundly. The loss of my son remains a poignant chapter, reminding me of the fragility of existence. My journey here has been unexpected yet deeply fulfilling. Having previously served in the Army for six years of active duty and four years in the reserves, I embarked on a seventeen-year hiatus. During this time, I pursued higher education, earning my bachelor’s degree in nursing. As a trauma nurse, emergency room nurse, and cardiac surgery nurse, I honed my skills and obtained certifications in emergency care, critical care, and cardiac surgery.

Q: What does your professional future look like?
As a member of the Virginia Board of Nursing, I have had the privilege of serving under Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration. Simultaneously, I am pursuing my doctoral degree in Nursing Leadership, with aspirations to establish my own primary care practice by May 2024.

Q: What does a typical drill weekend look like for you?
My weekends begin with roll call, where I align with fellow officers and enlisted personnel. Together, we navigate a tightly packed agenda, ensuring that every task is efficiently executed. The urgency of our mission drives us, and I take immense pride in contributing to our team’s success.

Q: What does your role as a nurse practitioner and a member of the VaANG mean to you?
In my role, I meticulously review medical records, delve into lab results, assess immunization status, address dental health, evaluate Individual Medical Readiness, monitor fitness levels, and consider deployment histories. Beyond the paperwork, I engage with our personnel, educating them and addressing their questions to enhance their overall health and resilience.