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

By Elizabeth M. Norman | Go to book overview

12
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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Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 7
  • 2 - Arriving in Vietnam 17
  • 3 27
  • 4 45
  • 5 53
  • 6 65
  • 7 75
  • 8 91
  • 9 105
  • 10 113
  • 11 125
  • 12 141
  • 13 155
  • 14 161
  • Appendix: Information on the Fifty Military Nurses 169
  • Notes 185
  • References 197
  • Index 207
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