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President Kennedy and Johnson

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Diary Entry from the 1960’s
Jamie Evans
History 135
October 28th 2012

Nurse in Vietnam
January 12th, 1960
Dear diary,
What have I got myself into?
Today was my first day as a nurse in Vietnam, and let me just say this is not at all what I expected. First off I expected us to be in a building at least a little one not a huge hospital, but instead we are in a little tent with barely room to move around. There are definitely not enough nurses to help all theses soldiers that are wounded everyday. This place is very filthy and they have to share surgical tools required to save lives. There is no penicillin no suctions tools and the rags are all stained with everyone’s blood. As the day went on I just sucked it up and talked to all the nurses about the different things that go on here and the different and most common wounds they see on a daily basis, one nurse told me that she had an amputee come in one day to get his cut off point checked out and when she looked she seen maggots under the guaze moving around, she immediately got the surgeon and all he said was “oh surgeons little helpers” I nearly vomited just picturing it in my head. The nurse then began telling me the couple rules that they have, the number 1 rule is don’t lie to the soldiers if they are not alright don’t tell them they are going to be just fine, tell them if they are on there way out. Rule number 2 is we are not allowed to cry, that’s pretty much it. A couple other things this nurse shared with me was the only entertainment us nurses have is singing and they only sing 3 different songs which are, Are you lonesome tonight, Five hundred miles, and I want to go home. She also let me know about the evacuation runs which is when a soldier is wounded on the battlefield and they cant get him to the nursing tent then a helicopter will fly one of us nurses to him, I really hope I never have to do this. As the day went on it was very loud in the tent I could hear mortars and actually...

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