A Puerto Rican Army nurse died on July 10th from wounds she suffered in a mortar attack in Baghdad’s Green Zone. Capt. Ortiz was the first Army nurse to die from combat-related injuries in the Iraq war.
She had been serving in Iraq since September, and was caring for wounded Iraqis at a hospital inside the fortified district.
“She touched everyone’s lives and everything about her was positive,” her fiance, Juan Casiano, said from her mother’s home in Pennsauken, New Jersey. “She always carried a smile.”
“It was her calling,” said Casiano, an Army veteran. “I saw in her what everyone else sees, a beautiful person who brings joy to everyone she touches.”
Capt. Ortiz was forty years old and is survived by her parents and four sisters. She is the 84th female fatality and the fourth name added to The Mother’s Day Project in the past two weeks.