"Inspiration is everywhere: family,
friends, mentors, in nature,
random encounters with
individuals, but most of all where
one least expects. Make time to
Commander Maureen Pennington is a United States Navy nurse with more than 20 years of active duty, Commander Maureen Pennington was awarded the Bronze Star for her service in Fallujah, Iraq where she managed a string of trauma centers located 10 minutes by helicopter from the front lines. She volunteered for the job, becoming the first Nurse Corps officer to command the largest surgical company in Iraq, leading teams of life-saving doctors, nurses, hospital corpsmen and Marines. All told, during Maureen's tour at Camp Fallujah more than 3,600 patients were treated, 620 surgeries performed and 760 evacuations were made to facilities offering higher levels of medical care. She also provided training to other medical units in Iraq to help improve their health care operations.
Commander Pennington also served as an operating room nurse during the 1990 Gulf War. A mother of two, Maureen has volunteered seven times to help Operation Smile, and during her three years stationed at the Robert F. Bush Naval Hospital in Twentynine Palms, Maureen initiated a preventative medical program called Population Health which focused on mammography. Of her tour of duty in Iraq, she says: "Your job is to give them strength. You just have to suck it up. Then go home and cry alone."
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