The Nightingale of Mosul
A Nurse's Journey of Service, Struggle, and War
Publication Date: April 27, 2010
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The true story of a female soldier in Iraq who was awarded the Bronze Star—not for fighting, but for fighting to care.
She is today’s Florence Nightingale. At age 56, Susan Luz was deployed to Iraq. By the time she returned home, she had helped save the lives of 30,000 wounded soldiers, contractors, Iraqi civilians, and detainees. But this was not the first time Luz responded to the call of duty: this is the inspirational story of a life dedicated to service and to the ideal of fighting for what truly matters.
As a young woman, Luz served in the Peace Corps in Brazil, where she experienced the brutality of poverty and violence. As a public health nurse, she has worked in jails, psychiatric wards, and a violent inner city high school. But nothing prepared her for what she would see in Iraq. Working under constant fire, Luz routinely witnessed the most horrific effects of the war. Her dedication to her job earned her the Bronze Star in honor of her selflessness and the life-saving work she carried out under unfathomably difficult circumstances.
Susan Luz is a true hero and her story will resonate in the hearts and minds of readers for generations to come.
Colonel Susan Luz, 57, is the highest ranking soldier in the 399th Combat Support Hospital, an Army Reserve unit based out of Massachusetts. In 2007 she won the Bronze Star for meritorious service while in Iraq.
Trained as a nurse, she has lived a life devoted to public service and has worked in inner-city schools, jails, and adolescent psychiatric wards. A former Peace Corps volunteer to Brazil, she holds a nursing degree from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree in public health from Boston University.
No stranger to military circles, Susan’s father is a World War II veteran who served under General Patton. Susan’s father-in-law is the late George Luz Sr., who was portrayed by actor Rick Gomez in the Band of Brothers HBO miniseries based on Stephen Ambrose’s bestselling book by the same name.
Susan lives with her husband, George Luz Jr., in Rhode Island.
Marcus Brotherton is the author of We Who Are Alive and Remain: untold stories from the Band of Brothers; Call of Duty: My Life Before, During, and After the Band of Brothers; and others. As a full-time writer, his specialty is helping people with strong public platforms tell their stories. A former newspaper reporter, Marcuslives with his family in Washington State.