Different Experiences in the Army, Navy, and Air Force Nurse Corps
All military nurses experienced certain strains and rewards in Vietnam. Every nurse knew the stress of caring for young patients freshly injured in combat. Every woman learned to adjust to the confinement of ships or military bases. Most nurses enjoyed the special camaraderie that developed among Americans overseas. Regardless of where or when they served in the war, the nurses felt that their skills were appreciated and their judgments about patient care were respected.
There were two factors, however, that colored the nurses' experiences in the war and resulted in different wartime memories. The first factor was the branch of service in which the women served: air force nurses who worked on aircraft had different experiences in Vietnam from navy nurses who worked on hospital ships or army nurses who worked in hospitals throughout South Vietnam. The second factor involved the year