Major Chantil Minton: Honoring a family memory

WTU Force Structure Major Chantil, Minton is all smiles after winning the Nurse Case Manager Award for Warrior Care and Transition (Photo Courtesy Chantil Minton)

By Annette P. Gomes Warrior Care Transition

The loss of a loved one can be devastating, but after losing her beloved grandmother, Maj. Chantil Minton turned her pain into a passion to help others.

“I was the great debater and I had planned to pursue law school, but seeing how the hospice nurses took care of my grandmother during her battle with brain cancer and how they were present when she took her last breath was enough for me to change my mind about law school. I wanted to become a nurse,” Minton said.

A self-described rebel, Minton says she began to view life differently. Determined to provide a better life for her and her children, she enlisted in the military in 1997. After graduating from Advanced Individual Training, Minton deployed to Kosovo and Macedonia.

Upon her return to the United States, she continued to pursue her dreams of becoming a nurse. In 2006, Minton completed the U.S. Army Medical Department Enlisted Commissioning Program and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.

In the fall of 2014, Maj.Minton joined the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Sam Houston as a nurse case manager; an advocate who supports and works with medical providers and the military chain of command to address any issue regarding the wounded ill, and injured and their treatment.

“You never know what these Soldiers are going through. You become a ray of sunshine and a voice of reason for them. Many are on different paths, they come with broken spirits, so in essence they become like family and at that point you give them your all,” she explained.

While often working nine hour days managing a team of nine, the Alabama native says the help she is able to provide is something she cherishes.

“It’s about helping them continue to fight for their lives as much has changed over the years. These Soldiers are able to return to duty and that’s so inspiring. They may have lost a limb, but that doesn’t mean their careers are over,” she said.

In November of 2016, Minton’s dedication and commitment to helping others paid off. After receiving numerous nominations from 14 existing WTU’s, she received the Nurse Case Manager Award for the Warrior Care and Transition

Former Battalion Nurse Case Manager for Warrior Care Transition, Joint Base San Antonio, Lt. Col. LeRoy Marklund nominated Minton for the award.

“I was proud to nominate Maj. Minton. She has a strong work ethic, an incredible compassion for her patients and staff and always shows strong leadership skills. All these attributes are often recognized by her peers,” Marklund said.

“I was humbled and so surprised. This really belongs to my colleagues and mentors who have instilled this great work inside of me. I’m truly blessed to have shared this experience with them. They’re like family.”

As Minton reflected upon her award, memories of her grandmother surfaced.

“I know she can see me, she’s proud and is smiling down on me.”