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"Nurses are not nice to nurses." (Audio Interview, 7:31)

   Diane M. Henderson
Collection image
Diane Henderson in uniform [undated]
War: Persian Gulf War, 1991
Branch: Army Nurse Corps
Service Location: Fort Ord, California; Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; Bremerhaven, Germany; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center, Aurora, Colorado; Kuwait
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
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By the time she reached her field hospital in Bahrain during the Persian Gulf War, Lieutenant Colonel Diane Henderson had served for nearly 20 years in the Army Nurse Corps. Still, combat nursing offered a new set of hurdles to overcome: a constant lack of supplies, extreme heat and humidity, and crowded living conditions. Despite these constraints, she made sure that her hospital offered treatment comparable to any found in the States. Her interview offers a glimpse into the daily life of a field hospital; as well, she chronicles the challenges of being a mother as well as soldier, particularly during times of conflict.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (80 min.)
»Photo Album  (5 photos)
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»Women of Four Wars
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Receiving a nursing scholarship from the Army Institute of Nursing; summary of how she earned her commission as a First Lieutenant. (00:38) Rigors of training at Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing; isolation of program: eating, sleeping, studying in the same building; dealing with difficult instructors; lack of guidance in practical/technical skills; learning on the job from other nurses at Ft. Ord, California; decision to stay in the service even after starting a family. (04:56) Returning from vacation and being called up for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm; expecting it to be a drill but instead receiving orders to deploy overseas. (00:51)
Effect of her deployment overseas on her family. (01:18) Arrival in Saudi Arabia; transfer to Bahrain; conditions and daily schedule in Bahrain. (03:19) Description of different types of military hospitals and procedure for transfer of patients; conditions in the field hospitals she worked in during the Gulf War; lack of supplies; reaction of other nurses to the “primitive” facilities; having to use outdated equipment. (12:58)

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  October 26, 2011
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