Leo R. Winburn
Class of 1972
â€œI had just started the Pikes Peak Chapter of IEHA, had a 5-year contract renewal period at the U.S. Airforce Academy (USAFA), and would be leaving my wife, kids, and grandkids behind,â€ says Winburn. â€œBut, being a retired army vet and having a son who was deployed to Iraq made me want to take the job. The recruiter said they needed someone who not only wanted a challenge, but also wanted to help our service men and women. It was not an easy decision, but my country needed me.â€
Two years after Winburn accepted this position, the Ibn Sina/Baghdad ER was officially handed back to the Government of Iraq as part of the U.S. military drawdown from Baghdad. As one of the busiest trauma centers in Iraqâ€”averaging 300 trauma cases per monthâ€”it was imperative for U.S. forces to relocate their hospital quickly. Therefore, in July 2009, LINC Government Service employees (www.thelincgroup.com), including Winburn, were given the task of having the replacement hospitalâ€”Sather AFB/U.S. Forces Hospitalâ€”operational by August 30, 2009, and cleaning out the Ibn Sina/Baghdad ER by October 1, 2009, to turn over to the Ministry of Health.
â€œI personally made four trips per day through the Red Zone, transporting my housekeepers and supplies, in order to meet contract deadlines,â€ says Winburn. â€œThis lasted 60 days, which is equal to 240 trips. But, LINC Government Services took on the task, and we completed itâ€”we had both hospitals running at the same time with the same amount of people.â€
Not only did Winburn take part in this huge accomplishment, the Ministry of Health asked if LINC GS would take over the maintenance and housekeeping of the Sather AFB/U.S. Forces Hospitalâ€”and stated to the Hospital Commander that it was the cleanest hospital in Iraq.
Itâ€™s the examples above that prove Leo Winburn is a True American Hero. But how did this self-starter get where he is today?
From Child to Hero
Winburn was born in Seattle, Washington, but grew up in Great Falls, Montana. As a child, he always dreamed of being in the military, so when he graduated from high school, he joined the Army in order to get out of the small town he grew up in and for the educational benefits the Army offered. For 22 years, Winburn served America and had the opportunity to travel around the U.S. and the worldâ€”including Panama, Turkey, Greece, Korea, and Spain.
â€œI actually got into the housekeeping business about a year before I retired from the Army. I opened a cleaning business in Tacoma, Washington, and had several office buildings I cleaned in the evening and on the weekends,â€ says Winburn. â€œOnce I retired, I went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. I went to school during the day and was hired on as a housekeeper at Madigan Army Medical Center to work the night shift. About a year later, I decided I no longer wanted to be a teacher and loved being a housekeeper.â€
While working at Madigan Army Medical Center, Winburnâ€™s boss was Executive Housekeeper and IEHA member Judy McCool. McCool introduced Winburn to IEHA by taking him to several meetings held by the Puget Sound Chapter. In 1996, Winburn
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