MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune provides local service members, retirees and
their families with medical care they need. But at the hospital there
is one overlooked service provided to patients, visitors and hospital
Retired sailors and Marines offer a shuttle to hospital goers and
continue to serve their fellow veterans. Over the past five years, Luis
Minguela and other shuttle drivers have shuttled more than 250,000
people from the parking lot to the hospital.
"There was a need for those who couldn’t get from one place to another
or having a hard time," said Luis Minguela, NHCL shuttle service motor
vehicle operator. "The hospital reaps when we serve these folks. There’s
a lot of folks that use this transportation a lot."
After 21 years Minguela retired from the Marine Corps as a gunnery
sergeant, working as a motor pool chief. Although he isn’t operating the
larger workhorses of the Marine Corps, Minguela’s job is still a vital
part of the mission of the naval hospital.
"We are the beginning throughout their process at the hospital," said
Minguela. "We try to take them where they need to go or take them to the
front desk and let them know they will be helped out. At the end of the
day, we want to make sure they’re completely satisfied. From the time
they got their ride to the time they got to the hospital and the time
they were taken back to their car."
Not only do the shuttle drivers take patients to and from the parking
lot, but they also sometimes go the extra mile to ensure patients have a
positive visit at the hospital.
"We do sometimes go a little bit beyond," said Minguela. "Sometimes we
get them a wheelchair and take them where they need to go and a couple
of times we have to park a car for some folks because they couldn’t do
Minguela said his selfless service can be attributed to his devotion to God.
"We got to take care of each other," said Minguela. "Once I found I was
to serve Him, and by serving Him I serve these folks here. We are to
reflect his walk."
In addition to Minguela, there is another member to the shuttle service
team who also retired from naval service. Michael Bostock retired as
chief petty officer in the Navy after 21 years as an aviation mechanic
and now serves the naval hospital as an automotive mechanic.
"The drivers really care for the patients," said Bostock. "They love
their job and what they do. The hospital provides a good program to take
care of its patients, and it’s focused on its goal to be the medical
center of care of choice. Every little part of that plays into that
Both the drivers and mechanics work as a team to ensure the shuttle
service continues to keep the patients of the naval hospital top
"We’re all focused on the same thing, taking care of the patients," said
Bostock. "We communicate and do whatever it takes to support the
hospital in any way we can."