Linda Spoonster Schwartz


The Honorable Linda Spoonster Schwartz RN, MSN, DrPH, FAAN

A dedicated advocate for “Healing the Wounds of War”. She served in the US Air Force Nurse Corp during the Vietnam War, (1967-1986) on Active Duty and as a Reservist.  She retired in 1986 after sustaining injuries in an aircraft accident while serving as a Flight Nurse Instructor. She is a 1984 graduate of Yale School of Nursing and received a Doctorate in Public Health from the Yale School of Medicine in 1998. She served a subject matter expert to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (1989 – 1998) on issues relating to Combat Veterans, Women Veterans, Agent Orange and Homelessness. President Barak Obama appointed her Assistant Secretary of Veteran Affairs for Policy and Planning. Prior to her confirmation, she served as Connecticut’s Commissioner of Veterans Affairs (2003-2014) overseeing services and programs for 210,000 veterans and their families.  She has been elected to the National Board of Directors of the American Nurses Association, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.  She has the distinction of being inducted into the Veterans Hall of Fame of her home State of Ohio (2004) and Connecticut (2016). Other Honors include: “VA Meritorious Service Award”; National Commendation Medal of Vietnam Veterans of America for “Justice, Integrity, and Meaningful Achievement”; the Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains. She created the “Have You Ever Served?” initiative to raise awareness about health risks associated with Military Service. In 2019, Dr. Schwartz was honored as a ‘Living Legend” by the American Academy of Nursing