Fairfield Medical Center
Public Relations Specialist
LANCASTER, Ohio (May 30, 2012) – Fairfield Medical Center’s very own Ken Darst knows what it takes to make sacrifices for his country. In addition to working at FMC as a Center Police Officer, Ken also has been in the Navy since October of 1987. His most recent tour was to Southeast Afghanistan where he was a part of the Naval Special Warfare. During that tour he was promoted to chief petty officer. “This was a real honor and highlight in my career,” Darst noted.
Ken Darst (middle), FMC Center Police Officer and Navy Seal, pictured with his team in Afghanistan.
While in Afghanistan, Darst flew the American flag over Camp Mogensen on behalf of Fairfield Medical Center. He recently presented Fairfield Medical Center CEO Mina Ubbing with the flag in a glass case to put on display at the Center. Darst also presented Fairfield Medical Center with a Navy Seal Team coin along with a certificate notating that the flag was flown over “Naval Special Warfare Task Unit –Trident” on April 6, 2011. The certificate states “It bears witness to the destruction of terrorist forces, and an undying dedication of the American resolve.”
“I speak for all of us at Fairfield Medical Center by saying that we are truly honored,” Ubbing said. “The American flag, coin and certificate are symbols of your courage and dedication to our country. I look forward to displaying them for all to see here at the Center and we thank you for all the sacrifices you have made to ensure our safety and security.”
Darst said it was a shock to see the living conditions in Afghanistan. “Our main goal was to protect the Afghan people from the Taliban and teach them to grow their own crops to keep them away from the drug trade and poppy fields.”
Darst began his career in the military with the 11th Marines at Camp Pendleton, in California and was deployed with them to Desert Storm. In 2002 he re-enlisted into the Navy Reserves as a Master-at-Arms (Navy Police) and was assigned to the Naval Special Operations Unit. During re-enlistment, he completed four combat tours with Naval Special Warfare. “I felt the need to serve my country and make a difference,” Darst said. “It is a huge sacrifice to be apart from my family, but I do it for them, to protect them.” Darst’s wife, Becky, also works at FMC in the observation unit. She is proud of all that he has achieved and is glad to have her husband safe at home.
Darst was mobilized November of 2010 to Naval Special Warfare and deployed with the unit to Afghanistan to serve in the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in support of the war against terrorism in Operation Enduring Freedom. He also completed three tours to Baghdad, Iraq.
Congressman Steve Austria also recognized Darst for his many years in the Navy by presenting him with a certificate and flag that flew over the U.S. Capital Building. “I enjoyed meeting Congressman Austria and was very honored to be presented with such a gift,” Darst noted.
In the meantime, Darst will be here at Fairfield Medical Center on dry land protecting us in a different manner, answering the call of duty with a different team!
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