Coming to Terms with the War: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The nurses who served in Vietnam thought their work would be just another professional job -- more intense and more exciting perhaps but, they reasoned, nursing was nursing. Wartime literature and movies had reinforced this belief. Books such as G.I. Nightingale ( 1945) and A Nurse's War ( 1979), the movie So Proudly We Hail ( 1943), and the 1970s television series "M * A * S * H" all showed nurses functioning and surviving in war zones. During the Vietnam War, U.S. Army General Neel reported, "The highest quality of nursing care was given despite the constant threat of attack."1
One exception to this notion of normalcy was Vera Brittain's account of her first years in England after World War I, Testament of Youth.
"Try as I would to conceal my memories, the War obstinately refused to be forgotten; and by the end of the Easter term [she was a student at
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Publication information: Book title: Women at War:The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam. Contributors: Elizabeth M. Norman - Author. Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press. Place of publication: Philadelphia. Publication year: 1990. Page number: 141.
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