2015 Tillman Scholar

Jonathan Curley

Air Force
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

“I served for all those who served before me. I served to serve them.”

After the 9/11 attacks, Jonathan wanted to do his part to defend our country as much as provide medical support to service members in need of care on the battlefield. The stories of young men and women losing their lives weighed heavily on him. He knew that the wars were heavy crosses to bear, and that they were being held up by an exhausted few.

As a Pararescueman in the Air Force, Jonathan often served as the first line of care for injured service members in the field, and his experiences shaped his initial interest in trauma and emergency care. But over time he became more emotionally invested in the outcomes of his patients’ injuries, learning that some would eventually endure more than 30 surgeries and thousands of hours of rehabilitation. As a PJ, he came to realize that truly saving these men from the battlefield was a long, if not endless journey–and now, he wants to aid their long term care.

While pursuing his medical degree, Jonathan hopes to work for the VA or within the military health care system, providing rehabilitation care to veterans and active-duty service members. He specifically wants to work with patients suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries, amputations, and spinal cord injuries with the goal to manage their pain, optimize prosthetics, and alleviate other injury-related medical issues to help them achieve their mobility and goals.