A young woman trains as a nurse and goes to Nam to find her personal and professional way!
To satisfy wanderlust, Eisenbrandt chooses a nursing vocation to finish high school and the Army to “see the world” and develop her skills. Not the norm for a young woman to go to the war zone, this VIETNAM NURSE shares her field hospital lifestyle that year in 1970. The author narrative describes the routines and incoming patients, recreation on the China Sea, and the limited social outlets and available relationships.
After her tour, Lou Eisenbrandt reflects on four return trips to Vietnam after the war ended and as she aged, with her varying feelings and impressions. Not the normal war story, this book relates to the impact of war on a young woman and her ongoing relative success to travel and mend as much as anyone may with a scarred war background.
MWSA Reviewer: Hodge Wood
Combining narrative and poetry, photos and documents, Lou Eisenbrandt's Vietnam Nurse tells the compelling story of how a Midwestern woman, born with a little wanderlust and a lot of courage, found herself serving as a nurse in Vietnam during some of the most dangerous and damaging stretches of the war in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During her service, Eisenbrandt encounters life-changing stories, most notably her own, as she writes in one of her poems, that spark "Songs of love and loss, of sweat drenched nights and blood smeared days." Since the war and through her many return journeys to Vietnam, Eisenbrandt shows us her deepening commitment to service, widening search for truth, and enduring creation of a life that matters.
—Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate