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Personnel Profiles
Capt. Suki Quattlebaum
Immediate Care Ward R.N.


Life and Death in the War Zone homepage

I was born and raised in South Korea and came to the States in 1984. I am single again with three children. My home base is San Antonio, Texas.

We have taken care of numerous American casualties, Iraqi Enemy Prisoners of War, and host nation civilians in a tent hospital under the most unfavorable conditions. It was a heartbreaking experience to see many wounded Iraqi children without proper treatment. Some died in spite of our best efforts to save them.

In the midst of our pain and difficulty of being in an austere environment, we found a hiding place to worship God and thank Him for His grace and mercy toward us all. We shared joy, laughter, tears, sorrow, and fears as we traveled along. We prayed for our soldiers, their families, and their safety as we sent them back to their units or for further treatment in Germany. On one particular peaceful Sunday evening service, a barrage of mortar fire hit us on three different occasions. We could not remember anything about the sermon or what songs we sang together, but we did learn life's greatest lesson: God will protect us from evil, and He gives His love to see us through.

The high points have been whenever my wounded young soldiers said to me, "Ma'am, I really appreciated everything you have done for me. I never had this kind of treatment before. Thanks for keeping a sense of humor." The low points have been when the leaders were so focused on petty things that didn't correspond to the big picture and overall mission of being in Iraq. And being told that we would spend one year in Iraq instead of six months as originally planned.

It has been challenging to work with fellow CSH personnel. Many are highly frustrated and angry at times due to the length of this deployment, the separation from their loved ones, and just the sheer loneliness of being isolated. Conflict, tension, and disagreement between the leaders and subordinates has occurred constantly. Due to the unfair treatment by some of my superiors at times, I have lost respect for some of them. I would also like to note that some of my superiors left a permanent mark in my heart through their encouragement, positive attitude, and kindness toward their fellow soldiers in this hostile environment.

I feel so honored and privileged to serve this great country. It has been an extremely difficult journey but also rewarding. I have learned so much about people, their emotions, and their pain. I have witnessed a place of nothingness and loneliness. I have lived and survived in the most unfavorable conditions with unbearable heat. Many times I was faced with hopeless and helpless situations. But every event provides opportunity to learn the deepest lesson anyone can learn on Earth: love, acceptance of the painful process, patience, and hope. I have also learned to appreciate the small things in life such as a flushing toilet, hot shower, and running water. I'll never take life, peace, joy, and happiness for granted.

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Capt. Suki Quattlebaum

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