Flashback...Nurses in Vietnam

  1. There is a documentary on Discovery Civilization channel entitled "Flashback:Vietnam". If you ever run across it, and have the time to spare - I suggest watching at least the first 25 min or so, as it pertains specifically to nurses who served (all voluntarily I might add) in Vietnam. What an AWESOME and inspiring group of courageous women! Few will be able to watch it without feeling at least the sting of a tear burning the eyes. The piece is about women who served there in all capacities, not just nurses. All those women were super humans if you ask me. But listening to the nurses - oh my, you just have to watch it yourself.

    Could we have done the same???
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    About Mary Dover

    Joined: Feb '02; Posts: 366; Likes: 34
    RN in cold but beautiful place
    Specialty: Psych, hospice, family practice


  3. by   bagladyrn
    Also of interest on the same topic - the book "The Healer's War" by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. It's a fiction novel based on her own experiences as a nurse in Vietnam - powerful book! You may need to check out used bookstores or do a library search since I think it may be out of print, but worth it.
  4. by   CATHYW
    I graduated from high school in 1969, and wanted to go in the Army. At that time they would've trained me, and sent me to Vietnam. I wanted to be there so badly-I felt like the guys my age were doing it all, and that wasn't fair. My Dad was for it, but my Mom refused. It is still the biggest regret of my life.
    One of the very best nurses I ever worked with had been in Vietnam. She said that they assisted the docs during surgeries, and closed wounds so that the Dr's could go on to the next person. Her assessment skills and calm in the ER was awesome.

    My husband and I went to the Wall, and the other Memorials honoring those who died in Vietnam, including the Nurse's Memorial. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and I still feel guilty that I didn't do more (like defy my mother!) to be one of them.
  5. by   P_RN
    I remember as a child hearing radio news reports about the Korean "Police Action." I finished High School in 1962.I saw Kennedy's inauguration, and then in college his assasination and funeral.

    Viet Nam was a word unknown to us then.

    If you have not seen the Monuments and Memorials to the terrible cost of war, please try to do so. You will never regret it.


  6. by   Mary Dover
    Wow Cathy, how cool. Oh I admire you so much for even having considered it. And in the show, all the nurses who were interviewed were so very young, just having graduated nursing school for the most part. I would just love to have the opportunity to sit face to face with those women to hear about their experiences. Not so much about the gory stuff - but about the emotional skills they had to have used to get through all that. I was born in 1961 and only vaguely remember hearing bits and pieces about Vietnam here and there. When I watched this documentary - I was just overcome with a sense of the highest respect and admiration for those brave women.
    I'd like to think that if I was the right age in that era, that I would have volunteered as willingly as they did.
  7. by   CATHYW
    Excellent sites, PRN. I got all teary eyed again, looking at the photos, and remembering what it was like there.
  8. by   Mary Dover
    PRN, thank you. There is so much to read and learn there. I've only started to skim through, but will go back until I've read it all.
  9. by   Writer
    I served at Clark AB, Philippines, from 1971-1973. We were a teritary care center, taking care of the kids who came in from Nam. It was my first nursing job.

    I never talked about it until years later when I met a man who had come thru at the same time. He took my hand and said "Thank you for being my nurse." I told him "I probably wasn't your nurse." He took a deep breath and said, "That's OK, I never got to thank any of them."

    We healed together. China Beach truly touched our souls and we would talk on the phone after every episode, and laugh and cry.

    We were there, we did what we could....

    There is a marvelous play called A Piece of My Heart (I dont know the author, but I've seen it on Amazon).... its about the women who served, the nurses, the Red Cross workers, the enlisted, the officers. I can't get to Act 2 without dissolving!