Local soldier pictured in national magazine

By Judy T. Mire


KAPLAN - Parents of children in the military always cherish any pictures they receive from their sons and daughters.

Patricia Suby of Kaplan is no exception. Imagine her surprise when a national magazine featured a story, along with pictures, and her son was in most of the photographs.

Her son, Michael Suby, 27, is a member of a medevac unit stationed in currently stationed in Afghanistan which the February issue of Time magazine told their story.

“I was so excited to see Michael in so many of the pictures”, said Patricia. “I was always proud of him and the work he does. Now other people will see how dedicated he is to his job.. Michael always had dreams helping people and becoming a doctor.”

His mother said those dreams began when Michael was very young.

Being very close to his godmother, he was devastated when she died of a heart attack.

“That is when he began talking about becoming a doctor to find a cure for heart disease.”

Michael attended Kaplan Elementary, Maltrait, and Vermilion Catholic while living in Louisiana.

Because of his father, Hassan Suby’s job, the family traveled extensively living in many different states and foreign countries.

After graduating from high school in California, Michael returned to Louisiana and began taking pre-med courses at UL of Lafayette.

Because of financial difficulties, he had to move back to California where his parents were living.

While there, he worked various jobs, but was going nowhere.

Knowing that working in the medical field always remained close to his heart, his mother suggested joining the military might give him the opportunity he needed to pursue his dream.

She accompanied him to a Navy recruiting station. He joined that day.

The day before reporting for his physical, he changed his mind and decided against joining the military.

“Then one morning,” said his mom, “Michael called me out of the blue and said, ‘Guess what mom? I just join the Navy.’

“He told me he had a dream the night before. He dreamed he was in the military and holding the flag of the United States.

“Apparently that was the sign he was waiting for. He went and joined the very next morning and the rest is history,” laughs Patricia..

He joined in November 2006 and graduated the Navy boot camp in Great Lakes, Michigan in January 2007.

Upon completion of boot camp, he attended the Hospital Corps School and graduated in June 2007.

His first orders were to 1st Medical Bn at Camp Pendleton, CA. There he completed Field Medical Training School, learning everything about battlefield medicine.

In February 2008, he was deployed with 1st Supply Bn., Military Police Company to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

There he received the Combat Action Ribbon and was also awarded Marine Corps Certificate of Commendation for supporting a Marine unit maintaining medical readiness at 98 percent.

In October 2009 he was deployed with 1st Medical Bn. Alpha Surgical Company in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he is presently still serving.

The soldier describes his military career as follows.

“Joining the military has been a major stepping stone in my life. I have always had an interest in the Navy and decided to make my interest a reality.

“The Navy has played a major role in my motivation toward striving to be the best and to work with the best.

“I was selected to attend a very competitive and demanding training program at Naval Trauma Training Center at Los Angeles County Hospital’s Trauma Center.

“Completion of this extensive training program prepared me to be on the team taking care of critically injured Marines and civilians in an austere battlefield environment.

“On my first deployment with the 1st Supply Bn. Military Police Co., I was awarded by my unit the Certificate of Commendation for providing medical care to 100 plus marines and for maintaining my unit’s medical readiness of 98 percent.

“I also received the Combat Action Ribbon.

“While serving in Iraq, and now Afghanistan, I view our work in these countries as an accomplishment.

“Daily, we gain a stronger hold in fighting the war on terrorism. I am proud to have been able to fight for our country and our way of life.

“What we do here is a legacy of what the next generation will be able to accomplish in the face of adversity. I, as well as the members I serve with, are honored to serve our country, and we are honored to play a part on our medical team to do the best possible job we can do to save every service member’s life on and off the battlefield.”

Suby plans on making a career out of the military.

He is also the son of Rick Bessard of Abbeville.

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