While Memorial Day may conjure up images of lazy beach days and family barbeques, it’s really about honoring and commemorating those brave souls in uniform who gave their lives supporting this glorious country. Yes, the veterans deserve this day…along with the military nurses who silently went along with them for the sole purpose of saving the lives of those injured. Thought Memorial Day wasn’t about you, huh? You couldn’t be more wrong! Read on for some fascinating facts on military nurses, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to take a moment to remember your sisters and brothers who entered the bloody war zone for the sake of this country’s heroes.
- Over 10,000 nurses were sent on a two week journey by ship to serve in WWI.
- Between 200 and 300 nurses actually died during WWI. While some contracted illnesses which took their lives, others unfortunately were killed by the enemy as well as in military accidents.
- Thought you had a lot on your plate when you took your first real nursing job? It wasn’t all spanking new scrubs and shiny stethoscopes for the graduating nurses in the 1960’s and 1970’s. They were shipped straight off to Vietnam (where they had to serve for a minimum of one year) and treated injuries the likes of which you will never see.
- In 1901 the Army Nurse Corp. became an official division of the Army Medical Department. And within the Army Nurse Corp. there are a total of ten (yup, ten!) different specialty branches.
- Military nurses were not spared the horrors of POW status. For three years, 67 Army nurses and 16 Navy nurses were held captive by the Japanese.
- In Washington D.C. near the Vietnam Memorial stands a tribute to all those valiant nurses who have served in war. Made of bronze, the commemorative statue depicts a nurse doing her life’s work; caring for a wounded soldier. Go visit it someday, it’ll be well worth it!
Enjoy this Memorial Day Weekend, but think about why it was established in the first place!