Faces From the Front for December 1, 2008 - Capt. Rosanna Vasquez Brown
Current Unit: 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Current Position: Physician Assistant
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Iraq
Hometown: Harker Heights, Texas
Years of Service: 16
Capt. Rosanna Vasquez Brown deployed to Iraq for the second time in three years this past March to continue her mission of caring for the Army's wounded warriors. During her first tour in Iraq in 2006, she served as treatment platoon leader in a clinic in Baghdad attending to the urgent care needs of severely wounded Soldiers. Her second tour has brought her to a different role that reflects the more holistic approach the Army is taking towards warrior care.
Once again in Baghdad, Vasquez Brown is now responsible for advising the unit's Squadron Commander on issues of medical readiness. Ensuring that Soldiers stick to their care plans and keep up with injury preventing actions such as stretching, in addition to providing moral support are responsibilities that are proving just as critical as the high intensity activities that drove her previous deployment.
Two weeks ago, Vasquez Brown became one of her own patients when she injured her most important equipment — her hands. She dislocated her thumb when 60 lbs of gear she was downloading fell. A true Army Strong Soldier, she popped the thumb back in place and kept on with her mission. The injury has left her unable to use her thumb for awhile and ultimately could have sent her home. But Vasquez Brown knew her departure would be a blow to the Soldiers in her Squadron, and opted instead to finish out her deployment. The same Soldiers she has cared for over the past nine months have now banded together to ensure her safety.
Vasquez Brown jokes that she doesn't need to be able to lock and load a pistol, when she is flanked on both sides by 200 lb. scouts carrying M4 rifles and grenades. They look after her almost as well as the two brothers she left at home.
The three Vasquez siblings and Capt. Vasquez Brown's husband Mark all have or are currently serving in the Army. Collectively the four of them have deployed six times, served close to 70 years of service and were awarded four Bronze Stars and two Air Medals (for meritorious service in flight). Capt. Martin Vasquez (Operation Enduring Freedom); Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Vasquez (Operation Iraqi Freedom); Capt. Rosanna Vasquez Brown (two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom); and 1st Sgt. (Ret.) Mark Brown (two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom) know how precious the time with their family is and do their best to never let the miles apart interfere with their love and support for each other.
Capt. Vasquez Brown will soon return home for three well-deserved weeks of Rest & Recuperation leave in December. Her eight-year-old daughter, Elisa, and husband have big plans for their short time together, including Elisa's black belt ceremony. She will also be back in time to see her brother Francisco, a flight medic with the 101st Airborne Division, before he deploys to Afghanistan on December 15th.
In addition to the honors she has received for her military service, this past May Vasquez Brown was honored for the work she is most proud of. Nominated and voted for by viewers across the country, Capt. Vasquez Brown was a semi-finalist in Teleflora's America's Favorite Mom.