Give Marquette

Marquette University Alumni Association

College of Health Sciences Award Recipients

A Person for Others Award


Holiday, Fla.

Deborah is a rare breed of nurse — the kind you salute. A commander with the United States Navy’s Safe Harbor Program, she has served in Saudi Arabia; Okinawa, Japan; and throughout the United States.

Currently on active duty in San Diego, Deborah helps coordinate non-medical care of wounded, ill and injured sailors, Coast Guardsmen and their families.

“I love serving in the Navy and caring for the wounded and their families,” she says. “It’s not only my duty to serve my country and those serving with me, it’s an honor serving with those who make this country great.”

If anybody knows anything about making this country great, it’s Deborah, who received a nursing degree from Ursuline College and a master’s degree in organization leadership from National University after graduating from Marquette.

Then, in 1989, service called. Deborah joined the Navy as a nurse corps officer, and her first assignment was pediatrics and newborn intensive care at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (Va.). In 1990, she was deployed to Saudi Arabia with the Navy’s First Fleet Hospital, where she worked in the ICU.

From Saudi Arabia, Deborah was off to U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, accepting orders to work as a staff nurse in pediatrics and a division officer in otolaryngology. After returning stateside, she held several division officer positions and spent several years released from active duty while remaining affiliated with the Navy Reserves.

In 2007, she returned to active duty and was one of two nurse case managers at Naval Medical Center San Diego working in the Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care Program. Soon after, she was promoted to commander.

Fun fact: Deborah and her husband are avid motorcycle riders and, in fact, met because they both ride. After they married, they embarked on several lengthy motorcycle journeys, including a tour of the East and West coasts and a trip to Sturgis, S.D. Occasionally, their two dogs accompany them, each riding on the back of a motorcycle.