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News | July 8, 2024

NMCSD Prosthetist Reflects on Men's Health Week

As Men’s Health Month is observed in June, we ask Naval Medical Center San Diego’s (NMCSD) lead prosthetist what Men’s Health represents for him.

Nathaniel “Randell” Leoncio, who was serving in the capacity of a U.S. Navy Corpsman in Ramadi, Iraq, when in 2005 he lost his right leg above the knee after a roadside bomb exploded under his Humvee, has endured his fair share of challenges.

Leoncio now serves others recovering from traumatic injuries that result in the loss of limb. He does so as NMCSD’s Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care (C5) artisan who skillfully crafts prosthetics for injured service members transitioning into a new reality — one incomprehensible to many, yet the perseverance for maximum functionality so valiantly displayed when spotted amongst us.

“I see occasions such as Men’s Health Week and Month through the lens of a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman,” says Leoncio. “The pivotal events of my time in Iraq have forever changed the way I see our world.”

What Leoncio, a Laguna Hills, Calif., native, is referring to is the continuum of existence amongst a tribal network of support.

“Combat — and not exclusively a men’s game anymore in our U.S. military as we’ve seen — in conjunction with my injuries, has enabled me to see first hand the bravery of the human spirit. Men rose to the occasion and beside us were our sisters whose bravery was in tune with everything that was needed to accomplish the mission, to retrieve our injured from harm's way, and to help initiate the healing process for those of us who found ourselves in such situation. We were ALL in combat together.”

Leoncio’s cohesion of perspective has provided him a considerable source of strength to pull from.

“Fundamentally, Men’s wellbeing resides on a foundation of appreciation,” explains Leoncio.

The strength of anyone group is in the collective strength of all groups for Leoncio.

“Take mental health for example. To witness male service members adopt greater acceptance of the importance of addressing such challenges is one thing. But to witness the support of others further echoes the validity in the matter. This collective support is where our greatest strength lies,” states Leoncio. “I derive my overall wellbeing from knowing that I’m not alone — that my fellow brothers AND sisters support me, and in the process, I’ll will do everything in my power to support them back.”

The mission of NMCSD is to prepare service members to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver high quality health care services, and shape the future of military medicine through education, training, and research. NMCSD employs more than 5,000 active-duty military personnel, civilians and contractors in southern California to provide patients with world-class care. Anchored in Excellence, Committed to Health!
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