Factors Associated with the Year the Nurse Served in Vietnam
Year by year, the war ebbed and flowed. The nurses stationed in Vietnam during 1965 at the start of the major U.S. build-up had different experiences from the nurses who served in 1971, when the United States was in a period of de-escalation. Public support and opinion back home directly affected troop morale. Earlier, when civilian support for American objectives and goals in Vietnam was strong, military men and women had accepted the battles and their subsequent casualties as an awful but necessary price to win the war. But later in the war years, everything changed. Widespread vocal public criticism of the war left American military personnel questioning the value of their sacrifices.1 As moral confusion and a sense of abandonment spread among the forces, nurses began to see patients with drug overdoses, self-inflicted gunshot wounds, and injuries from racial fights.
The American public never questioned the nurses' role in the