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Letters from Vietnam

Marita Silverman, Class of 1966, enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps four years after graduation. Eight months later, in August 1970, she arrived as a 1st Lieutenant at the 125-bed 8th Field Hospital in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. In November 1970, Silverman joined the 95th Evacuation Hospital in the China Sea City of Da Nang, where she was later promoted to captain.

The hospital was busy—there was at least one mass call every week plus the usual sick call, medical and surgical clinics. I worked in the ER—learned a lot and saw a lot. It was depressing to see all the traumatic and extensive tissue injuries; the fellows are so young to endure so much. The nurses work 12-hr. shifts 7 to 7, but I don't think I would trade a minute of it. Every so often we would go on "Red Alert Status"—that meant incoming enemy fire—believe me that was hairy. We had to don helmets and protective jackets.  The hospital never took a direct hit during the time I was there.

Marita Silverman to Alumni Association president Joyce Fletcher, February 1971

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