Milan grad wins Outstanding Military Woman Vet award
By Steve Short
A Milan High graduate was recently named one of the twenty most influential women in West Tennessee.
Dr. Linda Reszel Brice, a ’70 Milan grad and currently the Clinical Assoc. Professor at the Univ. of Memphis, Lambuth campus in Jackson, was the recipient of the 2017 Sterling Award for Outstanding Woman Military Veteran.
Awards were presented April 4 at Jackson-Madison Co. General Hospital.
“I was very humbled and honored by this award,” said Ms. Brice.
Launched in 2010 by the Jackson Sun and Jackson Area Business and Professional Women, the Sterling Awards honor women from every county in West Tennessee outside of Shelby Co., who have done outstanding, influential work in their communities.
The Sterling Awards are held annually on Equal Pay Day, an observance started in 1996 to symbolize how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned the year before.
Brice’s sister, Karen Weatherford, remembered when Linda was a volunteer at Milan hospital.
“As a young girl, I would watch my older sister, Linda, put on her candy striper uniform and head to Milan General Hospital,” recalled Ms. Weatherford. “She volunteered all through high school, logging over 3,000 hours. To this day, she continues to go above and beyond. I was so proud of her as she received the Outstanding Woman Military Veteran Award at the 2017 Sterling Awards banquet. She always gives 110% to everything she does.”
While serving in the Air Force, Brice went to Guam for ‘Project New Life,’ assisting more than 100,000 Vietnamese refugees who fled from the fall of Saigon and sought to find new homes in the U.S. In 1975, she received the Air Force Humanitarian Medal for ‘Project New Life.’”
“(Linda) created the first Foreign Liaison Office in the USAF Strategic Air Command, guiding military (personnel) from 24 countries, who came to the U.S. to train,” said Ms. Weatherford. “She was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal in 1976 from Castle Air Force Base in Merced, CA; and in 1982 from Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, NE.”
Dr. Brice earned six college degrees, including two Master’s Degrees and a Ph.D. in Nursing. She started her nursing career in 1990, and by 1993 had completed her Master’s Degree in Nursing and started working as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She earned a Ph.D. in Nursing so she could teach the next generation of nurses and be an outstanding role model.
Brice was the first female in the state of Tennessee to go through the U. S. Air Force ROTC Program and be commissioned as a 2nd Lieut. in the U. S. Air Force. During her Air Force career (1973-85) she held positions as Exec. Support Officer for the only B-52 Bomber Training Base in the Air Force, and as Squadron Section Commander for a Civil Engineering Squadron at Offutt AFB.
Before going to the Univ. of Memphis, Dr. Brice taught at Texas Tech Univ. and was active in service to the Lubbock, Texas community. She received numerous local, regional, state and national awards for her work with Texas Tech students, her efforts to decrease the high rate of preterm births, low birth weight babies and infant mortality; and her work to decrease the high rate of teen pregnancy and STDs in West Texas. She co-founded a “Teen Straight Talk” program which educated over 2,800 adolescents and adults on comprehensive sex education, and also founded the TTUHSC College of Nursing sponsored “Annual Stork’s Nest Baby Shower.” The program collected new baby items for the March of Dimes’ Stork’s Nest Program, an incentive to help pregnant women and teens have healthy pregnancies and healthy term babies.
Dr. Brice received the TTUHSC Student Government Assoc. Outstanding Faculty Award nine times in her ten years at Texas Tech. She was also named Texas Nurses Assoc. District Nurse of the Year.
She was a Robert Wood Johnson National Finalist for the Community Health Leadership Award (2010) and the only person in the nation to receive Avon’s National Hello Tomorrow Community $5,000 Grant for two different community programs she developed.
She earned the Lubbock YWCA Women of Excellence Award – Education Division; and the March of Dimes “Outstanding Program Volunteer of the Year Award” for the state of Texas (2007).
Linda was named a “Patched Member” of the “Bikers Against Child Abuse” organization in Texas, where she worked with children who were physically, emotionally and sexually abused. Her biker name was “Mama Bear.”
Dr. Brice has been married to her husband, B.J. Brice for almost 35 years. Her son David and his wife and two step-daughters live in Corbin, KY. She has a stepson, James who lives in Largo, Florida, and a step-daughter, Lisa who lives in Houston, Texas.