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Space Force Veteran chooses VHSO to receive care

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This year a Space Force Veteran, Sergeant Gregory Underation, was seen at Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks (VHSO). It was an exciting opportunity for VHSO to serve a Veteran from the new branch of service.

The U.S. Space Force was officially created in 2019 – 72 years after the Air Force. Its mission is to secure the nation’s interests in, from, and to space. Underation completed his technical training with the 18th Space Control Squadron at Vandenberg Space Force Base in Lompoc, California.

Underation served his first two years in the Air Force and transitioned to the Space Force as a conjunction analysis operator for his last two years of service. A conjunction analysis operator monitors satellites to ensure no collisions and to signal intelligence to ensure there is no nefarious activity anywhere.  Underation explained it’s equivalent to being an air traffic controller for space. Next, he trained and certified others in operating Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites. These satellites collect space situational awareness data for more accurate tracking and characterization of man-made, orbiting objects.

“We are a real branch of 8,000 strong.  We are a small unique community,” said Underation. “I was proud to serve in the Honor Guard for six months before joining the Air Force, now Space Force.” 

These days, Underation enjoys his time farming and working as a real estate agent in the Joplin, Missouri area. He is an Ohio native who recently relocated with his family to an 80-acre farm in Stella, Missouri.

“It was Missouri or Kentucky, and this is where the real estate landed us,” Underation said. “We didn’t really know anything about either location.” Geographically, Underation and his family settled in an area that was “alien” to them.

 Underation receives his care at the Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Joplin, MO.

His advice for fellow Veterans is to “enroll in VA health care, seek help, reach out to other Veterans and take the first step by making the call.”

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