Sandra S. “Sandy” Vreeland, 80, passed away peacefully with her husband at her side on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022 in Williamsburg, Va.
She was born in Middletown, OH on July 22, 1941. She graduated high school from Hamilton, OH and then went on to receive a nursing degree from Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in Ft. Wayne, ID.
She lived a full and active life. She was a nurse and coordinator on the first kidney transplant team in the Unites States at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, VA 1968-1970. From 1970 to 1972 she was an RN at the Klinic Sohenhoff, Bern, Switzerland. She returned to the United States in 1972, joined the USAF; graduated from the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks AFB, TX as a Flight Nurse; was chosen to be a member of Operation Homecoming at Travis AFB, CA that cared for returning POWS from the Vietnam War and later served as Chief Nurse of the emergency room in Wiesbaden, Germany.
In 1975 she married her husband, a USAF fighter pilot, and left active duty service in 1976. In 1984 she rejoined the USAF in the Reserves as a flight nurse with the 68th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Norton AFB in which she served for four years retiring as a Major. After her husband retired from the military, among other things, they bought a sailboat and became live aboard sailors for a couple of years spending most of their time in the Bahamas. Eventually settling in New Bern, NC she and her husband spent 10 years as members of a church group who acted as sponsors, mentors, ESL teachers, “Grandparents”, etc. to a group that grew to nearly 100 Montagnard refugees from Vietnam who were being persecuted in their home country for their Christian beliefs (among other things). In October of 2013 she moved with her husband to Patriots Colony in Williamsburg, VA.
She is preceded in death by her mother and father, Harold and Geraldine Schmitt of Payson, AZ.
She is survived by her loving husband, Harry; brother, Rob (Marcelita) of Flagstaff, AZ; sisters, Marti of Payson, AZ and Susie of Mesa, AZ; stepsons, Bill (Terry) of Lake Jackson, TX and Bob (Janet) of Long Beach, CA; 5 step grandchildren and 1 nephew.
Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.