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Stories Behind the Faces
 

WOMEN IN WAR We dedicate this passage to our sisters who served in Vietnam. They served their country and us very well, saving many lives. They provided great comfort to those who were wounded and to those for whom that woman was the last face he ever saw.

HELLO, DAVID
from the book; Visions of War, Dreams of Peace

Hello, David - my name is Dusty.
I'm your night nurse.
I will stay with you.
I will check your vitals
every fifteen minutes.
I will document
inevitability.
I will hang more blood
and give you something
for your pain.
I will stay with you
and I will touch your face.

Yes, of course,
I will write your mother
and tell her that you were brave.
I will write your mother
and tell her how much you loved her.
I will write your mother
and tell her to give your bratty kid sister
a big kiss and hug.
What I will not tell her
is that you were wasted.


I will stay with you
and I will hold your hand.
I will stay with you
and watch your life
flow through my fingers
into my soul.
I will stay with you
until you stay with me.

Goodbye, David - my name is Dusty.
I am the last person
you will see.
I am the last person
you will touch
I am the last person
who will love you.
So Long, David - my name is Dusty,
David - who will give me something
for my pain?

(C) 1987 Dusty

"Dusty" served with the Army Nurse Corps in the Iron Triangle area of Vietnam. She worked in the critical care units. If you would like to see more of Dusty's poetry, please visit her site at www.dustyspoetry.com. 7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam. Eight American nurses died in Vietnam, one was killed in action. A ninth nurse from the Australian Nurse Corps also died in Vietnam.

EIGHT AMERICAN WOMEN NURSES WHO DIED IN VIETNAM
*Captain Elenor Grace Alexander

*2nd Lieutenant Pamela Dorothy Donovan

*2nd Lieutenant Ann Elizabeth Drazba

*Lieutenant Colonel Annie Ruth Graham

*2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Ann Jones

*Captain Mary Terese Klinker

*1st Lieutenant Shanon Ann Lane

*1st Lieutenant Hedwig Diane Orlowski

AUSTRALIAN NURSE WHO DIED IN VIETNAM
*Temp. Capt. Barbara Black

For more information about the women who served in Vietnam,
please visit, www.vietvet.org/women.htm