Gregory Eagerton has dedicated his nursing career to serving our nation’s heroes, our country’s veterans.  Though he had many career options, Greg chose to not only work for, but to excel in, the leadership of The Department of Veterans Affairs.  His tireless efforts in improving the nursing care of veterans reach beyond the boundaries of the Birmingham VA Medical Center, where he is the Chief Nursing Officer, through the entire VA Healthcare System.  As a new nursing graduate, Greg found his passion for caring for this special population as he quickly realized that it was not just a “job” but an honor.  He shares this perspective with others so they, too, can truly appreciate the honor of serving the veteran patient.  Throughout his career Greg has shared his passion for the profession with others. He encourages a continuous learning environment for those under his direction, as evidenced by the number of nurses at his institution who are advancing their education. Under his leadership, the Birmingham VA Medical Center was one of the first health care organizations in Birmingham to implement the role of Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNL) in the practice setting.  Moreover, he has served as a resource throughout the state for the implementation of the CNL role. He is also a strong supporter of the Alabama Board of Nursing’s Alternative Program which was established to assist impaired nurses.  His personal investment and commitment to the nurses in the program are testaments to his compassion.  Nationally certified as a Fellow in the Veteran’s Affairs Mentor program, Greg goes over and beyond what is expected of most leaders.  He works at the national level developing and leading an orientation for new chief nursing officers and advising future leaders in the VA system.  He has been known to say, “Everything we do, every success we have, is the result of our relationships with others.”  Energetic, positive, honest, ethical and strong, with a sense of humor and a personality that allow him to build these relationships, he truly serves as a role model for others.  He excels because he cares.  He cares for veterans and their families, he cares for his staff and colleagues, and he cares for those he may not know today but who he may be able to help tomorrow.