Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
Houston VA Nurse Competes for Team USA
Every morning at 3:30 a.m., Edwin Lacson jumps out of bed and heads to the gym for a two-hour training session before heading to his job as an Operating Room Nurse at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston. After his shift, Lacson commutes home to take care of his family and then heads back to the gym or outside for another long training session before calling it a day. Why is he training so hard?
Lacson is an accomplished athlete who will be competing in the 2015 Duathlon World Championships in Adelaide, Australia in mid-October. Top athletes from around the world will compete in the Duathlon, which consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling leg and then another running leg in a format that is similar to triathlons. As proud as Lacson is to be a member of Team USA in this elite athletic competition, he says he is equally proud to represent the Department of Veterans Affairs as he heads over to Australia with his VA t-shirt and hat packed and ready to wear.
“I have always had great admiration and respect for men and women who have served our country and I’m so proud of the top quality health care we provide them at the VA,” Lacson said. “When people tell me they are impressed with my training regimen for this competition, I always remind them and myself that what I’m doing is nothing compared to what the Veterans I serve have done and continue to do. They are the real heroes.”
Lacson, a longtime triathlete, qualified to be a member of Team USA at the Duathlon National Championships in Minneapolis in 2014. In addition to his strict and monastic training regimen, Lacson credits his success in great part to the unconditional support of his wife Eleanor (a former collegiate swimmer and avid runner) and their 13 year old daughter Renzi (a competitive age group swimmer), who are both traveling to Australia with him to cheer him on in the competition.
“My goal in the World Championships is to do my family and my country proud,” he said. He also wants to use his platform as a member of Team USA to bring attention to the great work done at the VA.
“I take it very personally when I see a news story that is less than positive about the VA,” he said. “I want people to know that the VA is at the forefront of medicine and that the people who work here are hardworking, dedicated professionals who truly care about the Veterans we serve. I’m as proud to be a member of Team VA as I am to be a member of Team USA.”
Good luck to Edwin. Go Team USA!