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"The Combat Zone" Essay

788 words - 3 pages

American women in Vietnam “supported, opposed, and suffered the war.” (Marshall 3). The women were important in the Vietnam War. However, their importance went unrecognized for a long time. The women sacrificed their home lives just like the men to serve their country. They also suffered and witnessed many horrific events. Kathryn Marshall’s In The Combat Zone helps portray the significant roles that women performed as nurses, Red Cross workers, and Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas (SRAO) and United Service Organizations (USO) volunteers during the Vietnam War.
In her book, In The Combat Zone, Marshall records many nurses’ stories who served in Vietnam and positively impacted the American soldiers. Most of the nurses’ tour of duty generally lasted one year. (Marshall 5). Throughout the year the nurses had many new experiences and served many people, military and civilian. Approximately 80 percent of the military women served in the Navy, Air Force, and Army Nurse Corps. (Marshall 45). They all experienced many struggles and rewards throughout the war. (Norman 75). The nurses were important and helped save many men’s lives. The nurses worked with battle casualties, medical illnesses, and civilians. During the 1968 Tet
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Offensive one center held 1,500 patients. (Norman 76). The nurses made a difference in the soldiers’ lives. Occasionally they risked their own lives to save the soldiers’ lives. Flying shrapnel and glass damaged the nurses’ quarters and typhoon winds blew off the roofs. (Norman 77). They saved many soldiers’ lives, while sometimes risking their own and sacrificing their home lives. In The Combat Zone demonstrates how American nurses played a significant role in the Vietnam War.
In The Combat Zone relates how many American women worked or volunteered through the Red Cross. The Red Cross workers had a significant impact in Vietnam. Red Cross employees provided support to the soldiers. “Staff members . . . arranged emergency loans, relayed messages between soldiers and their families, and manned the SRAO program.” (Zeinert 41). The soldiers also talked to the women about their problems at home and their worries and fears at Vietnam. (Marshall 66). Red Cross volunteers in the United States were making...

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