American daughter gone to war : on the front lines with an army nurse in Vietnam

Author / Creator
Smith, Winnie
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"Winnie Smith was an idealistic twenty-one-year-old first lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps in 1965, the year that North Vietnam bombed the U.S. base in Pleiku and our involvement in the war becam...

"Winnie Smith was an idealistic twenty-one-year-old first lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps in 1965, the year that North Vietnam bombed the U.S. base in Pleiku and our involvement in the war became official. Filled with romantic notions about being a combat nurse, Winnie requested assignment in an intensive care unit in Saigon, where casualties were brought by helicopter just minutes from the battlefield. There she became one of the courageous corps of American women who witnessed the drama and horror of combat firsthand. American Daughter Gone to War is her powerful, poignant story, a narrative of one woman's struggle to survive the bloodbath she confronted on the ward, and the trauma that filled her life afterward." "Smith's days and nights blurred into the draining tropical heat and the numbing onslaught of casualties. Yet she drew strength from the courage of a Green Beret captain who was determined to live despite the loss of three limbs, from an infant fighting the agony of napalm burns, from helping rescue injured men from the brink of death. And she found comfort in the camaraderie that is special to the military. Alcohol provided an escape from the ongoing horrors of that year, and there were stolen moments - on a blindingly beautiful beach in Cam Rahn Bay, on a starlit roof in Saigon - when even she could forget the war for a time." "As the months wore on, though, even those moments lost their power to restore. The daily struggle to keep dying men alive, to heal terrible wounds and offer solace for ruined lives, undermined both Winnie's idealism and her strength. Only her dedication to the soldiers she served and the thought of returning to her life in the United States sustained her." "But like so many returning soldiers, Smith faced family members who could not understand her pain, antiwar demonstrators who belittled her efforts, and a dismaying, disorienting sense of loss. Like the other soldiers, she faced a country that had no place for her, a world where she no longer belonged. Many years after the war was over, she struggled with flashbacks, nightmares, uncontrollable bouts of crying. Only the support of other veterans, and the astonishing courage and endurance she had found in Vietnam, helped Winnie begin her long road back to peace." "American Daughter Gone to War is one of the only books written by an American nurse who served in Vietnam. It is an extraordinary story of a woman who came face-to-face with the drama and tragedy of a war zone, and found her own peace in the end. It is a heartbreaking mirror for America's own loss of faith over the course of one of the most shattering conflicts of the century, and an inspiring account of personal healing and renewal."--BOOK JACKET.

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Winnie Smith
  • First edition
  • New York : W. Morrow, [1992]
  • ©1992
Physical Details
  • 352 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
9780688111885, 0688111882

  • Introduction: One December Day, 1966: Saigon, Vietnam -- Ch. 1. May-October 1965: Fort Dix, New Jersey -- Ch. 2. November 1965-August 1966: Camp Zama, Japan -- Ch. 3. September-October 1966: The Third Field Hospital, Saigon -- Ch. 4. November 1966: Seeds of Distrust -- Ch. 5. December 1966: War Zone Holidays -- Ch. 6. January 1967: Hard Roads to Travel -- Ch. 7. February 1967: Intensive Care and Recovery Room -- Ch. 8. March 1967: Scorched Suns -- Ch. 9. April 1967: Where No Birds Sing -- Ch. 10. May 1967: My Soul for a Soldier's Life -- Ch. 11. June 1967: Emergency Room and Triage -- Ch. 12. July 1967: The Twenty-fourth Evacuation Hospital, Long Binh -- Ch. 13. August 1967: The Thousand-Yard Stare -- Ch. 14. September 1967: The Home Stretch -- Ch. 15. September 19-October 19, 1967: My Freedom Bird Home -- Ch. 16. October 20, 1967-March 8, 1968: Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri -- Ch. 17. March 1968-June 1983: From Sea to Shining Sea -- Ch. 18. July 1983-October 1984: Spirits of the Past -- Ch. 19. Veterans Day Weekend, 1984: Washington, D.C. -- Ch. 20. December 1984-April 1985: Back in San Francisco -- Ch. 21. May 7 Weekend, 1985: The Canyon of Heroes, Manhattan -- Ch. 22. March 1991: After the Homecoming Parade
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