All Female Medevac Crew Makes History
Four National Guard soldiers serving at Contingency Operating Base Adder in Iraq earned a special distinction last week when they became their company's first all-female medical evacuation crew. (Last week being the last week of November 2009).
The crewmembers are 1) Sgt. Debra Lukan, 2) Capt. Trish Barker, 3) Staff Sgt. Misty Seward, and 4) Chief Warrant Officer Andrea Galatian
1) Lukan, 43, of Keene, New Hampshire, enlisted following 9/11. "I just barely made the age cutoff," she said of her age. Lukan trained as an avionics mechanic and just recently switched from the shop to flight crew. She deployed to Camp Speicher and Tikrit from 2005 to 2006 and served in the avionics field. In the civilian world, Lukan is a federal technician in avionics for the New Hampshire National Guard.
2) Barker, 30, enlisted in 1999 as an aircraft fueler. She went to Officer Candidate School in 2003 and Flight School in 2004. A native of Menominee, Michigan, she was deployed to Bosnia in 2005 as a medevac section leader. When she returns from this deployment, she will resume her job as the state occupational health specialist for the Michigan Army National Guard.
3) Seward, 30, of Owosso, Michigan, agreed with Galation on the uniqueness of the crew. "Same for me," she said. "Never flew with an all-girl crew." In fact, with a total of nine deployments among them and between eight and 12 years of service apiece, this still is a first-time experience for the entire crew, Barker, the operations officer, said. Seward enlisted in 1998 and has served as a medic for 11 years. She has four years as a flight medic and seven on the ground. She deployed to Kuwait from 2001 to 2002 and to Baghdad from 2006 to 2007, both tours as a ground medic. When she returns from her current tour, Seward will resume her job as a security officer at a level-one trauma clinic in Lansing, Michigan, part of Sparrow Health Systems.
4) Galatian enlisted in 1997 and served five years as an administrative clerk before going to flight school in 2002. She has served seven years as a pilot, including a deployment to Bosnia in 2005. As a civilian, Galatian is the business analyst for the real estate division of the Michigan Department of Transportation