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Veterans seeks Vietnam nurses to honor their service

Vietnam Nurses Memorial (Karen Cutter/WikiCommons)

The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 862 of Southwestern Pennsylvania, is looking for nurses who served in Vietnam.

Chapter members want to honor the women and men for their service and say thank you at its 21st annual Tet Reunion Party on Feb. 15 at the Fez in Hopewell Township.

“They were angels from heaven,” said Bill Russo, Vietnam veteran and chapter board member. “They weren’t drafted. They volunteered.”

Some 11, 000 American military women were stationed in Vietnam during the war, according to the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation. Of those, about 90 percent were nurses in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Vietnam was the first war in which male nurses also served in the Army Nurse Corps., according to the association.

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They did whatever was asked of them. They often worked round the clock in massive casualty situations, directing triage, assisting with emergency tracheotomies and amputations, removing damaged tissue and shrapnel from wounds, and inserting tubes to assist surgeons, the foundation reported.

One Air Force nurse was killed in hostile fire, and seven other nurses died from accidents or illnesses, the foundation said.

Russo said the chapter would like to honor any nurse living in the Beaver County area or elsewhere who served in the Vietnam era from 1965 through 1975.

“They can live anywhere,” the Ohio Township resident said.

Nurses or those who may know of nurses who served may call Russo at 412-916-5609.

Some 500 people usually attend the reunion. The VVA Chapter 862 color guard will begin the program with a memorial ceremony for Beaver County veterans lost in action. A buffet dinner and music and dancing follow. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

Tickets, which includes dinner, draft beer, soft drinks, coffee and dessert, cost $25 and are available by calling 724-775-3027. To order tickets, send a check with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to : VVA Chapter 862, P.O. Box 26, Rochester, PA 15074 or to Lee Corfield, 140 Knob View Drive, Freedom, PA 15042.

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