In observance of Veteran’s Day, I dedicate this post with gratitude to The United States Army Nurses who served in Vietnam. Their sacrifices may have gone unnoticed by many but they earned a special place in every wounded soldier’s heart.
The Vietnam war brought about an evolution in battlefield trauma and critical combat medicine which set new standards for military nursing care. A low mortality rate in field hospitals was attributed in part to the superior nursing care brought about by the ingenuity of young, often times inexperienced nurses, who did everything in their power to provide “state side” nursing care with limited resources. They learned to improvise with the equipment at hand and found ingenious ways to procure supplies that were in critical demand.
In Vietnam there were no front lines or safe areas so every nurse faced the threat of attack during her twelve month tour of duty. The nurses were commended for their consistent courage, ingenuity and dedication. Five thousand nurses served in Vietnam and nine paid the ultimate price for their dedicated service. This post is dedicated to First Lieutenant Sharon Ann Lane, the only American servicewoman to be killed in Vietnam as a direct result of enemy fire. She died June 8, 1969 at the 312th Evacuation Hospital in Chu Lai, Vietnam.
Now for the photo prompt and my Friday Fictioneers contribution, a 100 word story of sacrifice.
by Tracey Lane Delaplain
Steam rose from the tarmac, the false wind from the chopper blades, a welcome relief. She inhaled the sodden, fuel laced air of Chu Lai and took in the beehive of the 312th. Distant thunder pierced the cloudless crystal blue sky.
“Why Vietnam?” her friends had asked as they said their farewells.
“Because this is where my patients are,” she whispered to herself, conjuring a courage that was just out of reach today.
The soldier’s fleeting fear was not misplaced, for First Lieutenant Lane would be returning home in six short weeks, her remains decorated by the Gallantry Cross and a Bronze Star from a grateful nation.
For more Friday Fictioneers go here.
Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who makes Friday Fictioneers possible.