Kylie Storen is a long way from Wanneroo in Perth, where she grew up.
Lieutenant Commander Kylie Storen is today serving with the Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan, where she carries an automatic weapon and wears body-armour to work every day.
These are things Kylie will always remember about her deployment to Afghanistan as a critical care nurse.
Kylie is a member of the Australian Specialist Health Group based at the NATO Role 3 Hospital at Kandahar Air Field, where she undertakes a variety of responsibilities inside the facilities Intensive Care Unit.
“One of the challenges is being there and either seeing or telling the casualties, who are now patients, about their status and the extent of their injuries,” she said.
“Also, watching them go through the psychological grief and trauma over losing a mate, it’s really one of the toughest things about my role.”
Kylie’s navy career and impressive nursing resume sheds light on why she was selected for this deployed as part of the specialist medical team.
“On top of my university study and considerable exposure to critical care nursing, I was a Navy medic for ten years, specialising in hyperbaric and diving medicine,” she said.
“I was posted to a diving team and travelled with the Navy’s elite clearance divers, this actually provided me with credits for nursing degree.”
It’s certainly been an interesting career for the 43 year old who attended school at Newlan College at Churchlands in W.A.
This isn’t Kylie’s first deployment, she has previously taken part in multiple humanitarian missions to the South Pacific and Indonesia and has taken part in diving, submarine escape and rescue exercises.
Now at the tail end of her time in Afghanistan, Kylie’s thoughts are inevitably turning to Australia and home.
She is a long way from Wanneroo in Perth where she grew up, and still misses the long summers, the outdoor lifestyle of Western Australia and early morning swims and runs on Cottesloe Beach.
“I can’t wait to see my family again,” she said.
“I’m also looking forward to having the biggest glass of wine, or two, with friends.”