LOMA LINDA – There’s more than a little bit of Wonder Woman in Kelly Winters. She even wears a special metal bracelet. The 21-year-old West Covina resident persuaded fellow nurses in medical-surgical Ward 3SE at the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center to observe Armed Forces Day on Thursday by donning BDUs – battle dress uniforms – in tribute to the military services and to the veterans they care for. The idea sprang from an occasion on night duty when Winters, who is enrolled at Mt. SAC in Walnut, came to work wearing camouflage pants and boots. The patients loved it. It might seem unusual for a stateside nurse to wear combat attire, but then Winters is an unusual woman. Make that Staff Sgt. Winters. Winters becomes animated again when she talks about the Army and how much she loves it and all that it means. She laughs when she talks about learning to fire a .50-caliber machine gun. After basic training, she was assigned to be a medical clerk, but jumped at the chance to go to truck-driving school. And two days after finishing the truck training, she learned of an opening for a driver in a unit headed for Iraq. She volunteered and was accepted. Three days later, the unit was sent to Fort Lewis, Wash., for a month of extra training, then to Kuwait and Iraq. Although she chose truck driving over being a medical clerk, Winters retained an interest in health care. Upon her release from active duty, she enrolled in nurse training at Summit Career College in Colton. She graduated as a licensed vocational nurse and signed on to the staff at the veterans hospital, a job that she says she loves. She’s enrolled at Mt. SAC taking prerequisite classes in preparation for entering the school’s registered nurse program. She has her eye on medical school and becoming a doctor. She goes to school full time, works at the veterans hospital and trains regularly with her Army Reserve unit. Winters is in the 349th Combat Support Hospital in Torrance and she expects to be sent to Iraq for another tour some day. But this time she’ll be going as a nurse. And about that special metal bracelet. She admits hers is not unique. It went to 150 fellow members of the 729th Transportation Company. Its inscription reads: Sgt. James Witkowski, Surprise, Ariz., 729th TC October 26, 2005 Iraq They were due to come home in a month. email@example.com (909) 386-3876 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From December 2004 to December 2005, Winters, 4 feet 10 inches tall, drove a rig in Iraq carrying arms and supplies to soldiers under the threat of ambush, snipers and improvised explosive devices. Winters got home safely, but she speaks solemnly about a great friend. Sgt. James Witkowski of Arizona died firing a machine gun at attackers that ambushed the convoy. Witkowski deflected a grenade headed for an opening in the top of his vehicle that would have killed the three men inside. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for gallantry. “We were neighbors,” Winters said. They lived across the hall from each other. She still speaks regularly to “Ski’s” parents.