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International Women’s Day: Remembering CPT Jennifer Moreno

Today is international Women’s Day, as I’m sure you’ve seen across social media. The history of the day has roots in all sorts of tradition and movements, but today in the United States it has evolved into a reminder of our appreciation of women. I don’t put much value in annual dates, but I have found some reminders to be useful and healthy – like Veteran’s Day or Thanksgiving, for example, and now International Women’s Day.

There are many influential women in my life who have molded and greatly inspired me – some are personal friends and family members like my mother, sister in law, professors from college, or friends from the military and growing up. Others are public figures or authors like Peggy Whitson or Zora Neale Hurston. My own girlfriend has taught me so much about compassion, understanding, patience, and applying my military work ethic to my artistic pursuits.

Today I’d like to talk about another inspiring woman, prominent in my own life and the lives of many other Rangers and military folks I have served with: Capt. Jennifer Moreno.

I won’t pretend to have been best friends with Capt. Moreno (when I knew her she was 1st Lt. Moreno), but I got to spend some time with her on my last deployment to Afghanistan. She was attached to our Ranger platoon, an Army Nurse who had gone above and beyond to serve as a CST (Cultural Support Team) member on our missions. A few of us hung out with her and the other CSTs a handful of times outside of work, and of course we worked together on missions when necessary.

On the night of October 5, 2013 and into the morning of October 6, our platoon got in a bad way. We had multiple casualties, some dead and many wounded. Capt. Jenny Moreno was not there as a medical professional, but being a nurse by trade she knew she that could be an invaluable asset to our wounded. She was killed while moving to aid some of my fellow Rangers. We lost four that night — two Rangers and two support personnel including Jenny.

My dear friend Patrick Hawkins was also killed that night, and I was soon given the honor of escorting his body back to the U.S. I was joined in my escort duties by another CST member, MSG Harris. Harris knew Jenny well, and through I her I learned more about the woman who died trying to save my friends.

I wish I would have known her better. She gave her life to save those who I care about a great deal, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I will be forever inspired to live as she lived – selflessly. Her life inspires me to use my skills whenever they are needed without a second’s hesitation. To serve for the benefit of others.

I’m certainly not always successful in these endeavors, but because of Jenny and others like her, I am profoundly inspired to do so, and I’ll keep trying.

I think about her often, and as International Women’s Day rolls around, she is at the forefront of my mind.

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clluelo
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clluelo

A true hero and inspiration . Thank you for sharing a moment in time about her

Susan B
Member
Susan B

It’s good to hear about the outstanding women that also serve our nation well. Thank you, Luke, for honoring one of them for us.

Joni Smith
Guest
Joni Smith

Thank you for sharing Capt. Moreno with us. Her actions certainly defined a person I think we can all seek to become. A person who follows the mantra others before self. It’s an honor to get to know Capt. Moreno and an excellent choice to recognize on International Women’s Day.

Mic-Mac
Member
Mic-Mac

Thank you for sharing Luke. Such a brave women, and brave men. I am sincerely sorry for your loss.

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