David Saurusaitis' approach to life is simple: "whatever you put into it is what you get out of it." That doesn't mean the path is easy--quite the opposite, in fact. To live your values and achieve what matters most requires dedication, persistence and hard work. David has strived to live his core values of compassion, loyalty and accountability, whether by having a fellow Marine's back in a combat mission, caring for patients as an operating room nurse or achieving 10 years of sobriety. David's grit and determination make him a WPDH Vet Who Rocks.

Each month, Hudson Valley residents nominate veterans who continue to serve their community for the WPDH Vets Who Rock program. Thompkins-Mahopac Bank, MHA of Dutchess County and Unity Ambulette partnered with WPDH to fund a monthly $500 prize for a Vet Who Rocks and a $10,000 grand prize to be awarded around Veterans Day. David was nominated by his partner, Leeann Peters.

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"The man has improvised, adapted, and overcame everything which has stood in his path without losing sight of his #1 priority, his family," Leann wrote us. "I know there are many vets who rock, but if I needed someone on the darkest day of my life, I wouldn't want anyone else by my side or nearer to my heart."

David served in the Marine Corps from 1988 to 1992 and was a machine gunner in Operation Desert Storm. He worked as a farmer, heavy equipment operator and in a paper mill before studying to become a registered nurse. He ultimately obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and became an operating room nurse. David sees the common thread of his military and nursing careers as being of service to others.

"What's ingrained in the Marine Corps and being a nurse, obviously, you're helping people. I mean, you're not just helping an individual, you're helping families," David said.

Is there a veteran in your life you'd like WPDH to recognize? Tell us about them in our nomination form.