BRAVE LADY

      I am presently a 1st lieutenant in the US Army Nurse Corps, serving in Evans Army Community Hopital at Ft. Carson Colorado. My story is actually that of my mother. She, also a nurse, was one of the few that served in the Vietnam war as a nurse at the 93rd EVAC hospital in Long bien. One morning, they received a call that an air evac mission was needed and my mother was the only person available to fly on the bird to a nearby village to help casualties. In flight, the pilots were deverted on another mission which was going to have them picking up soldiers who were under fire, and land on a hot LZ. Well, the pilots, knowing they had my mother in the back (which was equivalent to having the queen of England..meaning that having an american female, as well as nurse, the boys were charged with guarding them with their lives.), they wanted to drop her off in a field and have her hide. They didnt want to run the risk of being shot down, and losing my mother. Nevertheless, once hearing about this, my mother said, "the only way you are going to get me to step out of this helicopter is to throw me out, otherwise i suggest you go ahead and do what you have to do." Well after much pleading and arguing, the pilots finally gave in. They went ahead with the mission which turned out to go with out flaw. The LZ had been secured and was no longer underfire. Once landing, my mom said that she wasnt going to get out of the bird, but the soldiers were so shocked and thrilled that my mom was there. Most hadnt seen an amercian female in months. She finally told the pilots that boys, hold on, i need to get out for a second. She got out, she took off her flight helmet, and let her hair down. She talked to the soldiers, she let them touch her, she let them hug her. She could see it in their eyes. Those simple things could have lasted them a lifetime. It is a simple story really. But I think it is one of courage and of hope. She gave those soldiers hope that they would return to America.

--- TDTANC@aol.com

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