Faces From the Front for August 30, 2010 - Sgt. Tyronda Dorsey
Current Unit: 26th Brigade Support Battalion
Current Position: Combat Medic
Current Location: Mosul, Iraq
Hometown: Killeen, Texas
Years of Service: 13
August 26 marks Women’s Equality Day, a day which the U.S. Army will commemorate by remembering the women who have served their country for the last 235 years. During the Revolutionary War, females served as volunteers, often performing duties as nurses or cooks. Today, women serve in 93 percent of all Army occupations and comprise 13.4 percent of the Active Army.
Sgt. Tyronda Dorsey represents just one of the many women serving in the Army today. Dorsey, who grew up in Killeen, was exposed to Army life early on through her father’s military service. At the age of 21 she decided it was time to follow in his footsteps.
“My father definitely had some influence on my decision to serve, I asked him a lot of questions about what to expect,” Dorsey explained. “I looked forward to traveling as well, as a military brat I missed that aspect when I got older.”
Now Dorsey, a mother of four and the spouse of a fellow Soldier, is serving in Iraq as a combat medic and is responsible for ensuring the health of her Soldiers.
Working in the medical clinic, Dorsey provides medical care and advice to injured and sick Soldiers. While she is prepared to execute any sort of emergency procedure that may be required, she has spent the better part of her time in Iraq providing routine examinations and prescribing remedies for standard medical issues. One of the most common ailments she’s seen throughout her deployment is muscoskeletal injuries, such as ankle sprains.
Fortunately Dorsey works in a facility that is well equipped, which ensures medical professionals have all necessary supplies to keep their Soldiers healthy.
“I feel that I have enough to perform my job as a medic. The system of care seems to be working fine. While there are some specialties not available, it does not stop the overall care of the Soldiers here,” Dorsey said. “We have an actual clinic where Soldiers come in for sick call. It is a facility with a lab, x-ray and a pharmacy. We are also very fortunate to have a dentist in house who is excellent.”
When not working inside the clinic, Dorsey is charged with providing medical ground transport for any individual in need of immediate medical assistance. In order to perform this responsibility, the Soldier has learned to drive a mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle during her time in Iraq.
“I had not driven a MRAP vehicle before this deployment so I am proud of this achievement,” Dorsey said.
"Dorsey also works to train her comrades on CPR and Combat Lifesaver (CLS) courses. The CLS course prepares Soldiers to provide immediate first aid to any injured person, and teaches them to quickly and effectively assess and address the problems caused by a combat wound.
Dorsey knows that her work is important and truly enjoys being able to help her fellow Soldiers.
“I love being a medic because not only do I have the opportunity to show compassion at the most crucial times, I get to save lives. When someone comes to see me, I enjoy helping them address their needs. Soldiers sometimes just need someone to listen to them and when I witness an improvement in them, I feel that I have a purpose,” Dorsey said.
While Dorsey has built an illustrious medical resume during her 13 years of Army service, she credits much of her ability to effectively interact and communicate with patients to her mentor, Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum.
Cornum, who was taken as a prisoner of war (POW) when her Blackhawk helicopter was shot down during Desert Storm, served as the hospital commander of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center when Dorsey was stationed there.
“I was very humbled working with her, she was very personable, knowledgeable and patient. She also gave a powerful account of what happened to her while she was a POW in Desert Storm, I wouldn't have guessed any of this happened to her. She had varying experiences behind her but it didn't have to define her whole personality. I indentified with that type of quiet reserve,” Dorsey explained. “I was impressed by her bedside manner, I took that with me after leaving Germany.”
Dorsey is proud of the work that she and her fellow soldiers have done during their time in Iraq and knows that this deployment has allowed her to continue fine tuning her medical skills.
Slated to return home this fall, Dorsey looks forward to spending time with each of her children and her husband, with whom she shares a unique bond.
“Being a military couple is very difficult at times but it has also been very dynamic,” Dorsey explained. “I enjoy being able to talk shop with my husband, complete with the military lingo, and he understands. It takes a lot of compromise because each of us has career demands and a two year old child so, sometimes one of us may be burdened more than the other with household duties due to professional duties of the other.”
In addition, upon returning to the states, Dorsey plans to visit her extended family in Killeen, Texas and plans to look for some volunteer work to help out in her local community.