Sgt Amy Quinn U.S. Army
Sgt Amy Quinn U.S. Army
by Submitted by Loved One | Nov 4, 2022 | Army, Operation Final Roll Call, War in Afghanistan | 0 comments
This was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, and I put off doing it. I apologize for that but writing a bio on my baby who is no longer on this earth is just so very painful. I hope this is what you wanted. Please use what you want from it. I was pretty straight forward and wrote it thinking of your purpose….
It’s very difficult and painful, as her mother to write a bio on my daughter. And I have struggled for days since the request for one. It would be one thing to write of her achievements so far if she were going forward in life. But I’m writing a legacy bio, having to be written after her death at only 32. First let me say that although her death is assumed to be suicide, there is a continuing investigation as to the real cause. I cannot tell you what has led to this moment in her death. But I can tell you about Amy in her life.
Amy was always a light to anyone she met, fun, joyful, caring, lively, compassionate, and a shoulder for anyone who wanted to talk. She always put others before herself. In 6th grade I was told by the principal of her middle school, “nobody doesn’t like Amy”. She was very musically talented, performing in the marching band, concert band, and many choirs in her school. She also performed for her church and played piano for several churches over the years. While stationed in Germany, her high school band teacher, and his wife, (who had Amy in middle school), visited Amy in Germany specifically to attend Octoberfest with her. With her exposure for many years in Girl Scouts from Daisy’s to Seniors Scouts, with the 28th division military unit in Pennsylvania, it was almost natural that she would go into military service. Both of her grandparents on her mother’s side, and her grandfather on her dad’s side served proudly. She had to have her mom and dad’s permission to join the military and did so directly out of high school. After her basic training in Fort Jackson she went to Fort Sam Houston for her Medic Certification and MOS.
Because of a brief marriage she was moved to Germany, where she came under the Command and tutoring of Colonel Buggs. He not only transitioned her to service as an HR person, he treated her as though she was one of his own daughters (he had 4 of his own). Amy was in Germany for 3 years where she made many friends, had many experiences, and loved living there. She returned to her home of record, and lived with me for a year, where she picked up a quick contract in HR in Altoona PA, in a reserve unit. She then deployed to Africa where she was expected to be for 6 weeks in a Joint Operations Command unit at the Horn of Africa, but ended up staying almost an entire year, because the command center loved her work, loved her attitude, and she loved it there. She was actually recommended for that position and was selected based on her record.
Amy was supposed to be promoted while she was in Germany, but her focus was more on her job and her college education which she was working on. When she got to America, she put her degree on hold as well as her promotion packet. One thing that was said at her memorial service is that Amy always put other soldiers before herself, made sure they’re promotion packets were in order and made sure they got their promotions. And therefore did not get her promotion to Staff Sergeant, until it was awarded posthumously.
Amy returned from Africa once again to her home of record and stayed with me until she was again asked for by the command out in Fort Knox. This was an opportunity for her to buy her 1st house In her twenties and was very proud of that achievement. She remained at Fort Knox for her 3-year contract and then was transferred to Ohio to the DSCC unit as AGR. Amy struggled over the years with anxiety, and was diagnosed with OCD, and ADD. Due to a sexual assault incident that happened early in her career she was at first diagnosed with PTSD. (Although I don’t agree with the ADD diagnosis, Amy was very focused and very able to stay on task. She was like her mother and that she wanted to be a perfectionist in everything she did.) The assault put Amy through some very stressful situations and was a strain not only on Amy but her family as well. Amy struggled tremendously with stomach issues which many tests and surgeries over years, revealed nothing, no origin. (the amount of coffee she drank I’m sure contributed!! Lol) Amy had also begun drinking. I’m not sure when it started or where, but I know last year, in the spring, she had checked herself into rehab, and was doing very well until she met this new boyfriend last August. His life was lived in the evenings in a bar, which didn’t help with her issues. I asked her once why she drank and her comment to me was, “It takes away the pain”. Amy suffered with the stomach pain and some back pain from an injury in high school. As she aged, she was at times, on profile from her inability to ruck march distances. She was under the care of a military doctor, a psychiatrist/counselor, and a PCP. This led to over
Prescription of similar drugs, which did not help Amy’s condition. I had stepped in last year as a nurse to evaluate her medications, and the Drs were able to get her back on track she said.
We are not, as a family, exactly sure what transpired in the hours and morning of her death on September 4th. We just know that she was found in such a way that it suggests suicide. A light has been taken from the world. And she has been taken from her family who love her dearly. And this family, along with her Military family and friends all around the world are so broken in her loss. If there was anything Amy would have wanted to see happen from her death, would be to prevent sexual assault on young soldiers, both male and female. And to prevent and treat effectively alcoholism among all soldiers. She spoke often about transitioning from the military to civilian life life. And how the mental transition was difficult for those that she knew. She and I spoke often on that topic, as I saw on the civilian side, how soldiers have so much to live for beyond military service. And having dedicated themselves to others in their military careers CAN be assimilated into the real world in a rewarding way.
I can only hope that with all the lives Amy touched in her 15-year career, many will go on in her honor and do good things. She once told me when she was little all she ever wanted to be, was a good girl. Many in the military, her family and friends believe, that Amy in her short time on earth was the best girl she could ever be.
Shawn Quinn Swartz