Vietnam Nurses Page
2nd Lt. Carol Ann Elizabeth Drazba
2nd Lt. Elizabeth Ann Jones
Capt. Eleanor Grace Alexander
1st Lt. Hedwig Diane Orlowski
2nd Lt. Pamela Dorothy Donovan
1st Lt. Sharon Ann Lane
Lt. Col. Annie Ruth Graham
Capt. Mary Therese Klinker
This Picture is A Tribute To
The nurses Who Gave Their Lives In Vietnam
So That We Could Keep Ours.
It is Not For Sale.
Click on picture for a free 8x10 printable copy.
An Open Letter To
All The Nurses Who Served In
It was with great interest and satisfaction that I read about the $10,000.00 donation made by Chevron towards your cause. I am a Vietnam veteran and I stand behind your effort. I am a member of Vietnam Veterans Of America Western Reserve Chapter # 439 in Chesterland, Ohio, and we discussed your cause at our meeting of March 23,1989. The unanimous decision of our organization was that we support your cause.
I currently am the committee chairman for our educational program. In this program we go into the local high schools and tell not only about the Vietnam War, but also how we feel about what we did. I did two tours of duty in Vietnam as a non commissioned officer in the United States Navy. One tour on a Destroyer Escort off the coast of Vietnam, and one tour on a U.S. Navy Swift Boat (PCF) making raids in the rivers and canals of the Cau Mau peninsula. My unit took a casualty rate of 82% during the time I was there.
I did my share of killing and I saw my share of dying but I want you to know that before I ever heard of your cause I was giving a talk to high school students at South High School in Willoughby Ohio, and after I told them my story, as bad as it was, I asked them a question. I asked the students what they thought was the toughest job in Vietnam. Not one of them had the same answer I did. I told them I thought it was being a nurse. I saw many of my brothers that were hit with a bullet or shrapnel or worse. Fortunately for me I only had to bear their misery for a short time until I could get them to a medivac chopper. You, on the other hand, had to live with that every minute you were there. I carry some awful memories in my mind of the horror and reality of war but I am sure I would not trade mine for yours. My job was to kill and unfortunately due to the mentality of the time I became very good at it. I am not proud of that, but I can't change it now. Your job was to heal and there is no doubt in my mind now which is a more honorable profession.
I have traveled this country extensively. I have been in big cities and small ones. I have been to our nations capital. I see statues and monuments all over this country of our military leaders. I have seen a monument that reaches hundreds of feet into the sky to honor a General. I have seen a monument of our soldiers raising a flag in some far away land. I have seen large monuments and I have seen small monuments. I have even seen monuments with a man sitting on a horse with a sword in his hand. I can drive in my own local communities and see tanks, and if I drive a little farther I can see fighter planes and guns and swords. I can go to museums and see bullets and rockets and hand grenades.
I can drive a little further to Buffalo New York and see the U.S. Navy Park where they have made a permanent monument of a destroyer, a gunboat and a submarine. I can see all these heroes of our country whose job it was to kill other human beings. I can see all these wonderful machines we have invented for the sole purpose of destroying life. But if my son were to ask me, Dad, where can we go to see a monument to the women of this country who saved lives, I would sadly have to say, "I am sorry son, I don't know."
I think that says something very sad about this world. You deserve your statue more than I can ever put into words. If it wasn't for you I would not have the pleasure of many of my friends company because their names would have been on The Wall. If it wasn't for you The Wall would have to be much bigger than it is now because all of my brothers you saved would have to have their names on The Wall also.
You will have your statue, but I only wish the world would put me in charge of it, because you would not have to pay for it. I would make the leaders of this world who send their children to other far off lands to die on the battlefield pay for it. They talk of liberty and honor and justice while they sit home and watch the earth run red with the blood of its sons and daughters. I would make them come into your field hospitals and see if any of their sons with parts of their arms or legs or faces left behind in a rice paddy talk about honor or justice or liberty or any of the other words that ring hollow while they scream for their mothers and slowly and painfully their life slips away from them. I would make them trade their arms for a Purple Heart or their innocence for a Silver Star. I would make them fill the body bags with what was left of their sons.
If they put me in charge of your statue she would not be next to ours at The Wall. She would stand right where the "V" in The Wall meets on top of the hill, and she would be one hundred feet tall with her arms stretched out to each end of The Wall and a tear in her eye to represent the sorrow you must feel for not being able to save the lives of all the men and women whose names are chiseled on it. The day your statue is dedicated I will be there just to give you a hug and say "THANK YOU".
PO2 U.S. NAVY Black Berets