Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam

Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam

Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam

Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam

Synopsis

Norman tells the dramatic story of fifty women-members of the Army, Navy, and Air Force Nurse Corps-who went to war, working in military hospitals, aboard ships, and with air evacuation squadrons during the Vietnam War. Here, in a moving narrative, the women talk about why they went to war, the experiences they had while they were there, and how war affected them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Excerpt

This book grew out of the rigors of the academic process -- in short, it picks up where my doctoral dissertation ends. Seven years ago, I became interested in the military nurses who served in Vietnam. I was doing some summer reading -- a popular book about Vietnam. In it, there were two accounts of nurses who had served in the war. It had never occurred to me, a nurse, that there had been women in the war. I was intrigued. That fall, as part of my work toward my Ph.D., I was assigned to write a paper for a nursing course that was taught by a professor who was particularly interested in history. The story of those two nurses had stayed with me, and I decided to use my academic assignment to learn more about the women who served as nurses in Vietnam. I discovered that virtually no one had been interested enough in the subject to pursue it. I found no statistics, no articles, just a two-page summary written by the army surgeon general in 1973. The academic in me was surprised: this seemed like such an obvious subject for study and exploration. The woman in me was alarmed: here was a part of history -- the history of women -- that might be lost. Who were these women? Why hadn't anyone written about them? What was it like to be a nurse in a war zone?

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