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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.