Madigan Army nurse killed in Afghanistan

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD — A nurse from Madigan Army Medical Center and three of her fellow soldiers in a special operations force were killed by an improvised bomb blast Sunday in Afghanistan, the Defense Department said.

Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, of San Diego, was based at the hospital at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and volunteered as a member of a cultural support team with a special operations task force that deployed in June.

Also killed in Sunday’s blast in the Zhari District of Kandahar Province were Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25 of Carlisle, Pa.; Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24, of Springfield, Mo.; and Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore.

Hawkins and Patterson served out of Fort Benning, Ga., with the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Peters belonged to the 5th Military Police Battalion out of Vicenza, Italy.

Serving with a special operations cultural support team is one of the few ways for female soldiers to go outside the wire on combat missions with all male Army Ranger or Green Beret teams, The News Tribune reported.

“We’ve lost a superb officer and a caring nurse who served with marked distinction and honor throughout her career.” said Madigan Command Col. Ramona Fiorey. “We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of this great American solider.”

Born in San Diego, Moreno received her commission as an Army officer after graduating from the University of San Francisco with a bachelor of science degree.

She graduated from the Army airborne course in 2009 and arrived at Madigan in 2010, where she served as a clinical staff nurse in a medical surgical unit until she sought a special operations assignment.

It’s a dangerous assignment that calls on American women to interact with Afghan females to gain information that might not be available to male soldiers because of cultural differences in a Muslim country, The News Tribune reported. In October 2011, medic Lt. Ashley White was killed on a mission in Afghanistan with two Rangers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Moreno “was a talented member of our team who lost her life while serving her country in one of the most dangerous environments in the world,” said Lt. Col. Patrick J. Ellis, Commander of 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. “Her bravery and self-sacrifice were in keeping with the highest traditions of the 75th Ranger Regiment. She was making a difference in Afghanistan and that legacy will live on.”

Moreno is survived by her mother, Marie V. Cordero, and her sisters Jearaldy Moreno and Yaritza Cordova of San Diego. Her brother, Ivan Moreno, serves in the Army.

More in Local News

Residents are helping turn Casino Road in a new direction

An initiative backed by a $700,000 grant goes to the community for solutions to the area’s challenges.

It’s hard to find a parking spot at Wallace Falls State Park

There’s a study under way on how to tackle that issue and others.

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

2 names released from recent fatal crashes

Both men were killed earlier this month.

Live in Edmonds? Hate speeders?

Edmonds has $35,000 to address local residents’ concerns about speeding in their… Continue reading

Sirens! Flashing lights! — Move over!

We are a confident bunch on what to do when we hear… Continue reading

Most Read