Lieutenant Commander Sara M. Bustamante, OD, FAAO
Medical Service Corps, United States Navy
LCDR Bustamante was born to Lt Col (USA, Ret) Joseph and Darlene Tvrdy in Bethesda, Maryland. Throughout her father’s Army career, she grew up in Virginia, Washington State, Hawaii, and Alabama. LCDR Bustamante attended the University of North Alabama, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 2001. In 2004, she earned a Doctor of Optometry degree from Nova Southeastern University college of Optometry graduating with Honors.
Through the Health Profession Scholarship Program, LCDR Bustamante accepted her commission as Ensign in May 2001 followed by Officer Indoctrination School in Newport Rhode Island. In August 2004, she reported as a Lieutenant to Naval Hospital Beaufort, South Carolina where she served as the Department Head for Optometry and directed clinic operations at the Naval Clinics, Marine Corps Air Station, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island. During this tour, she also provided support for the Naval Hospital, Guantanamo Bay supporting the Joint Task Force and Operation Enduring Freedom efforts. In July 2007, LCDR Bustamante reported for training at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, Florida, where she earned her ‘Wings of Gold’ as Aerospace Optometrist #18 and the MSC Director’s Award of Excellence for outstanding performance during training. In February 2008, LCDR Bustamante reported to the Branch Health Clinic (BHC), Naval Air Station Oceana where she provided Aerospace Optometry services to the pilots and aircrew for Oceana’s fleet squadrons and tenant commands. She also served as Department Head for Ancillary Services. From March 2012 to July 2014, LCDR Bustamante served as the Department Head for Ancillary Services and Administration at the Branch Health Clinic in Meridian, Mississippi. In August 2014, LCDR Bustamante began a year-long career intermission to accompany her husband as he attended the Command General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. During her sabbatical, she was competitively selected to serve on a Medical Service Corps Strategic Goal Group team for a two year term. In July 2015, she reported to the Naval Health Clinic, Quantico, VA, where she serves as the Director for Clinical Support Services and a staff Optometrist.
Lieutenant Commander Bustamante is affiliated with the American Optometric Association, the Armed Forces Optometric Society, and a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry. She was honored with the selection by her community as Navy Junior Optometrist of the Year in 2011. Lieutenant Commander Bustamante wears the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 gold stars), the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Medal (Sharpshooter).
Lieutenant Commander Bustamante is married to Major David ‘Ron’ Bustamante, a Cyber Officer in the Virginia Army National Guard. They have four children, David, Leland, Magnolia, and Sebastian.