CONTACT Thurstone named recipient of Meritorious Service Medal - Dr. Christian Thurstone
U.S. Army LTC Christian Thurstone is the recipient of The Meritorious Service Medal.

To All who shall see these presents, greeting: This is to certify that the President of the United States of America authorized by Executive Order, 16 January 1969 has awarded

The Meritorious Service Medal

To Lieutenant Colonel Christian C. Thurstone
1493rd Medical Detachment, 1st Theater Sustainment Command

For Meritorious Service while serving as a psychiatrist in support of Operation Enduring Freedom for the 1493rd Medical Detachment Combat and Operational Stress Control. Lieutenant Colonel Thurstone’s attention to detail, devotion to duty, and determination were instrumental in the success of the command’s mission. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, 1st Theater Sustainment Command and the United States Army.

From 03 May 2021 to 05 August 2021

Michel M. Russell, Sr.
Major General, U.S. Army

And now a word from the Mrs.

The official citations are beautiful and absolutely correct — but we all know I, General of the Thurstone Home Front, have just a few edits:

While serving in the Middle East earlier this year, LTC Thurstone, a psychiatrist, was among the very busiest of physicians on duty. In just under four months, he treated more than 350 American service members and also checked in on soldiers from other countries. He identified several new ways to keep commanding officers more informed about the mental wellness of their troops, and he led the setup of internal systems giving them clearer insight into how to prevent a perfectly reasonable mental health issue from becoming a serious problem. The resulting reports are reducing the stigma of extending and reaching for mental healthcare in the field.

LTC Thurstone also called his children and wife twice daily — just after his morning run and just before bedtime. And he spent an hour each day visiting via video conference with his son, who was recovering from serious injury sustained the day of his own deployment.

All of the Thurstones know this award reflects extraordinary team effort — and they are grateful for all of the family members and friends who stepped in with so many acts of kindness and friendship, while her Lieutenant Colonel was away.

About Christine Tatum

Christine Tatum is a veteran journalist whose communications and market intel firm, Media Salad, Inc., helps companies and nonprofit organizations win business and stay ahead of their competitors. Her professional stops include the Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, the (Arlington Heights, Ill.) Daily Herald and the (Greensboro, N.C.) News & Record. Her work also has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, and New York Times.

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