Women in the Military honored by Quota
— Quota International of Cambridge welcomed Ret. Maj. Yvonne Liswell for an event honoring women in the military Thursday, Jan. 19.
As introduced by chapter member Jeanie Simmons, Liswell enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1983 and began her
militar y career as an electrician aboard the USS Frank Cable. In 1989, she continued her career through the Maryland Army National Guard.
In 1997, as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, she served as a staff nurse and platoon leader. She was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 with the 48th Combat Support Hospital.
After returning from deployment, Liswell returned to the Maryland Army National Guard as a staff nurse.
She earned both a master’s degree, and Bachelor of Science in nursing from Salisbury University. Today, she works with the Bratton Memory Clinic and is the volunteer medical director and provider for the STI clinic of Choices, a pregnancy center in Easton.
Liswell gave a presentation focused on her seven-month deployment to Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. She had a wealth of pictures of patients, the combat hospital and the living conditions.
“Tents are for patient care or living quarters, and they all interconnect. The operating room is a big box with all of the equipment inside,” Liswell said. “Once the box is placed, the sides pop open, equipment is pulled out and you can operate within three hours.”
The 48th Combat Support Hospital cared for American soldiers, soldiers of other nations who did not have access to medical facilities and local nationals, Liswell said.
Many of the cases she documented were blast injuries from Soviet land mines that never were recovered. A large portion of the local national patients were men and children, because the culture of the area made it difficult for women to receive care, according to Liswell.
A few of the local national patients, Liswell said, were aggressive and hostile toward the medical professionals working to save their lives.
One pair of children featured in Liswell’s slideshow was a brother and sister who sustained injuries from playing with a leftover Soviet hand grenade.
Pictures of her living quarters, her assigned bomb shelter, the operating room and some of the medical equipment used also were featured in the presentation. She also had several pictures of the people in her unit with whom she shared this experience.
The presentation noted the significant contributions of other women in the military, including Grace Murray Hopper, Eileen Collins, Elsie Ott and Harriet Tubman.
The president of Quota International of Cambridge, Ashley Nehring, gave a brief report about what Quota does and how the local chapter has helped the community.
The primary mission of Quota, she said, is to help the hearing impaired and otherwise disadvantaged women and children in the community.
The Better Hearing and Speech committee helped has helped finance $92,000 for hearing aids since May 2008, Nehring said.
The women of Quota have volunteered to help other community organizations. They helped with the Ironman 70.3 Eagleman and Ironman Mar yland triathlon events, the Seafood Feast-I-Val and ringing bells for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign.
Several of the women participated in the Santa Swim for the Care and Share Fund of Dorchester County. Quota of Cambridge came in first place for money donated to the organization.
Quota of Cambridge also donates its time and resources to help students of Dorchester County Public Schools, the Mid-Shore Council for Family Violence shelter and local churches.
“After putting together this report, I am in awe and honored to be a part of Quota International of Cambridge — knowing how dedicated this group of women is,” Nehring said.
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Quota International of Cambridge member Jeanie Simmons, honored guest Retired Major Yvonne Liswell, and chapter president Ashley Nehring at the organization’s Women in the Military event.
A photo display for Quota International of Cambridge was featured at the event.