MATURE SUBJECT MATTER, VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: WEDU is honored to present the personal Vietnam War experiences of our local citizens. The stories presented here have not been edited and are presented as originally shared by the author. The content may contain coarse language, images, or remembrances that may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
Anne R.’s Story
Shared on July 3, 2017
Nurse Corps, USN (ret.)
I was one of the approximately 10,000 women who served in-country in Vietnam during the war. I was stationed at the Station Hospital, Naval Support Activity, Danang RVN from January to May 1970. The NSA station hospital was at one point an 800 bed combat casualty hospital. I highlight this because so few people know that the Navy had medical facilities on the ground in Vietnam. Most think that there were only the hospital ships. My clinical areas were acute surgery and later surgical ICU, what would now be called a trauma unit. The unit also included the post op recovery room. A typical trauma patient was often a triple amputee with one eye damaged beyond repair. Altho we were a trauma unit, we did take care of host nationals with various injuries and illnesses. I saw my first case of tetanus there as well as malaria
Of note, my future husband was briefly one of my patients in Danang. He was career USMC and was on his 4th tour in RVN when he was wounded. The story of his recovery and how we eventually got married is too long and complicated to tell.
I remained in the Navy as a career and 20 years after Vietnam was deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1st Gulf War). Although I don’t know this for sure, I may be one of the few women who served in both combat theaters. I was the Director of Nursing at Fleet Hospital Five
I retired from the Navy in 1994 at the rank of Captain (O-6)
Sponsored in part by
Retired Officers’ Corporation at Freedom Plaza
Production Credits: THE VIETNAM WAR is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington D.C. Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward. Produced by Sarah Botstein, Lynn Novick and Ken Burns.
Funding Credits: Funding provided by: Bank of America; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; PBS; David H. Koch; The Blavatnik Family Foundation; Park Foundation; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; National Endowment for the Humanities; The Pew Charitable Trusts; Ford Foundation Just Films; Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and Members of The Better Angels Society: Jonathan & Jeannie Lavine, Diane & Hal Brierley, Amy & David Abrams, John & Catherine Debs, Fullerton Family Charitable Fund, The Montrone Family, Lynda & Stewart Resnick, The Golkin Family Foundation, The Lynch Foundation, The Roger & Rosemary Enrico Foundation, Richard S. & Donna L. Strong Foundation, Bonnie & Tom McCloskey, Barbara K. & Cyrus B. Sweet III, The Lavender Butterfly Fund