Celebrating Our Veterans

For 20 years, the veterans of Touro University California (TUC) have continually proven themselves to be among the best that the university has to offer. Their presence has been felt everywhere, from the first graduating class to the students on campus today. They are members of our staff and faculty, and many continue to serve. They come from all branches of the military and represent generations of service to our country.

In anticipation of our Veterans Day Celebration on Friday, November 10th at noon, the following series will feature many of the veterans of TUC and recognize what they have done for our country. Stay tuned for new installments.

If you are a TUC veteran or know someone else who would like to be featured, please let us know at tuc.advancement@tu.edu 

David Duncan  

I initially joined the US Navy through the Health Professions Scholarship Program, and upon graduating from family medicine internship went to flight school and aviation medicine, deploying aboard the USS Kitty Hawk stationed in Japan, and was part of the initial launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After two years I returned to complete Family Medicine residency in Bremerton, WA, and was again stationed in Japan as a staff physician. I transitioned to the US Public Health Service and served as Senior Medical Executive and Flight Surgeon for District 11 with the Coast Guard.

Working with the Armed Forces has allowed me the privilege to serve those who put their lives on the line for our country.

— David Duncan, DO
US Navy and Coast Guard
Prison Clinical Director| COM 2001

Nyssa Burdick  

I have my family to thank for inspiring me to join the U.S. Navy. My uncles and great uncles served in the Navy during WWII, but my grandfather, a Brigadier General for the Army National Guard showed me what it means to live as a role model and helper in his community. I knew that service to my country was an example I wanted to follow, even before I chose to pursue my career in medicine. My goal is to serve just as my grandfather did: by helping those in need and leading others to do the same.

- Ensign Nyssa Burdick
US Navy
COM 2020


I served for 4 years active duty in the US Army Intelligence & Security Command as an Intelligence Analyst after being sent to the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey.  I had the good fortune to be attached to an aviation unit in Texas and we flew intel missions along our Southern national border as well as in the Caribbean.  I also had an overseas tour in Panama.  In 1977 I placed 3rd in an All-Army Triathlon, along with winning many other athletic events.    All of us loved our country and served proudly.    It helped me a lot.  I encourage anyone so inclined to serve!  Just remember our objective is PEACE--not WAR.

- SSG Mark S. Blackburn
US Army Intelligence
Database Developer & Administrator, IT


Charles Weber  

Dr. Weber enlisted in the infantry in 1989, advancing from private to now a retired LTC after 27 years in uniform for the Army. He has served many operational units (4th ID, 101st, 25th ID, 225 Avn Regiment and 13th MP company in Vincenza, Italy), x. With mentorship and guidance, he was accepted and graduated from the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point in 1995, commissioning in the Medical Service Corps.

- Charles "Chuck Webber, DO
US Army
Family Care Center Medical Director COM 2002

 Aaron Surbaugh  

As a member of the United States Air Force in the Health Professions Scholarship Program at Touro it is my duty to build a solid foundation of medical knowledge enabling me to continue forward in the life long process of medical education ensuring that my patients receive the highest possible level of care.  I am continually inspired by the examples set forth by my peers and those who have served before me.

2nd Lieutenant Aaron Surbaugh
US Air Force
COM 2020

I started out in the Air Force as a Weapons Specialist. I joined the Air Force because all my brothers and sisters did. The US Air Force gave my mother an award for her contribution of her children when they found out that all seven of her children had served. After 2.5 years, I was honorably discharged, and then I joined the US Army as a medic. It was quite a different experience! What was I thinking? I was attached to several units, one of which I am most proud of was the 75th Ranger Regiment 2nd Battalion as a medic. Nothing but fun times there.

- Medic Gary VanWinkle
US Air Force and Army
Educational Technical Support Technician, IT


Celebrating our Veterans - Joy Dugan

"I come from a military family.  My husband was a medic in the Army, his PA was one of the reasons why I chose to be a PA.  I  chose to be an Army National Guard PA specifically because we have a dual mission to support stateside and federal missions.  I have previously participated in wildfire relief efforts. I'm currently in charge of a Troop Medical Center on a deployment to the Middle East for 6 months."

— Joy Dugan, MPH, PA-C
Army National Guard
Clinical Instructor | CEHS 2012

Robert Muller

I joined the US Army in February of 1976 while in my senior year of high school in New Richmond, WI. My high school counselor recommended that I join. 10 days later, I was at Ft. Lenard Wood, MO for basic training. I was trained in basic combat and as a field wireman. I was then stationed at a small munitions supply depot in Germany for 3 years during the height of the cold war. Although I served during a time of peace, we were in a constant time of readiness. I enjoyed my time in the Army and gained a rank of Specialist 4. When I was discharged, I remained in Germany for another 3 years and France for 6 months.

- Specialist 4 Robert Mullins
US Army

Terrye Moore Harper  

After attending college on an Army ROTC scholarship, I entered active duty as an Army Nurse and married the company commander at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. I later became a burn/trauma nurse at Brooke Army Medical Center, where our daughter currently serves in the same trauma unit!. I valued taking a different career path than my high school and college peers. But the main reason why I wanted to serve this country was to continue our family tradition of military service for the past 5 generations! Go Army! Go Nurse Corps!

Terrye Moore-Harper
US Army Nurse Corps
Assistant Professor, SON

Celebrating Our Veterans


I currently serve in the U.S. Army Reserves with a program for medical students. After medical training, I will then serve as an Army Physician. The biggest reason that inspired me to serve is my younger brother. When I took my oath, my brother was deployed with the U.S. Army in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. If anything would have happened to him while deployed, my family placed our trust in military physicians to make sure he got home. My inspiration is to serve those who serve. I serve to help make sure everyone’s siblings come home to their families. 

- 2nd Lieutenant Dylan Clabaugh
US Army
COM 2020

Jack Madderra

I served the United States of America as a Second Class Petty Officer in the United States Navy/Reserve. I was a volunteer service member during one of the longest peacetime periods we have had since WWII (1983-1989). I was based out of NAS Alameda at Attack Squadron VA-304 working on A7 and A-6 Jet Aircraft as an Avionics Technician and was also assigned duties as the Squadron Training Petty Officer assisting other sailors with access to professional development courses for advancement.

My inspiration was to serve as my grandfather, father, cousin, that had served during WWII, Korean and Vietnam conflicts and to broaden my technical skills.

- AT2 John (Jack) Madderra
US Navy and Reserve
Network Manager, IT

 Celebrating Our Veterans

"I enlisted in the USAF after graduating from high school and served for 10 years.  I had family members who were service members and grew up in a military area so it seemed like a natural fit.  I was inspired by the opportunity to serve side by side with a variety of people from all different cultures and travel the world.  Being deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom after the 9/11 attacks lent a whole new perspective about the gravity of serving and what the job truly entails.  I have the utmost respect for those who wear the uniform."

- TSgt (Select) Susan Elliott, LVN
US Air Force
Projects Manager, COM