Women in the Mil­i­tary hon­ored by Quota

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By VICTORIA WINGATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

— 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.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ vic­to­ri­adorstar and on In­sta­gram @dorch­ester.star.

PHOTO BY VICTORIA WINGATE

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.

PHOTO BY VICTORIA WINGATE

A photo dis­play for Quota In­ter­na­tional of Cam­bridge was fea­tured at the event.

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