OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) — We are wrapping up a month-long celebration of remarkable Oklahoma women with a woman who is making history for her bravery in the military.
She is a combat medic in the Army, and she put her life on the line in two deployments overseas.
Stephanie Moore enlisted in the U.S. Army during her senior year of high school.
Stephanie got her diploma from Seminole High School in May of 2001, and then left for basic training a few months later in July.
September 11th drove America into war-zones across the globe.
Stephanie deployed as a combat medic. Her expertise was in high demand on the front lines of the middle east.
“I always loved just helping others,” Stephanie said.
Her first tour of duty was twelve months in Baqubah, Iraq.
Stephanie, like so many moms in uniform, left a son at home so she could serve.
“She was always just very determined. She always strived to do her best in everything,” said Stephanie’s sister, Kiley Stocks. “When she went into the Army she moved up in rank pretty quickly.”
Stephanie planned on a career in the military. Her second deployment was to Baghdad, Iraq.
In 2007, the capitol city was a hotbed of violence.
“They try to keep the medics out of sight and safe,” Stephanie said. “So, I was in the vehicle when it was hit.”
A rocket-propelled grenade fired by insurgents hit Stephanie’s vehicle.
However, because she was the only medic in the area, she went to work treating others instead of tending to her own injuries.
“I still had to go out and provide care.”
Stephanie was the first woman to earn a combat signifier as a member of the Muscogee Creek tribe.
Her picture was on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
After ten years in the U.S. Army, Stephanie’s body had been worn down by that blast; her heart had been broken by the loss of a fellow soldier and then she developed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“I was scared to go outside because I didn’t know what was going to happen,” remembered Stephanie. “Then the physical injuries made it worse. It made it so I didn’t want to get out of bed and I didn’t want to leave the house.”
After she retired from her career of service, Stephanie was always looking for new ways to help.
She volunteers as a peer mentor and support group leader with the Wounded Warrior Project.
“One of the most amazing things is how giving she is no matter how much she’s been through,” said Stephanie.
Stephanie and her husband are also tireless volunteers for Autism Oklahoma.
Their son is on the autism spectrum.
“Stephanie Moore has been an amazing individual and volunteer,” said Zac Davis with Autism Oklahoma. “She started out as an intern for us. Then she volunteered for every major event, program, camp, the peace walk, that we had.”
Stephanie Moore built a career in a war-zone, and then she patiently, courageously fought a personal battle for her own recovery.
Today, she uses her strength to fight for others.
“Her story is so unique and it’s so powerful,” Stocks said. “Everyday she surprises me with something new that has added onto her accomplishments and what she contributes to the community.”
Those contributions are a cornerstone for this remarkable woman.