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Interview with Kathryn Mary Doody [5/27/2004]

Michael Willie:

Today is Thursday, May 27th, 2004, and this is the beginning of an interview with Kathryn M. Doody at the Erlanger Hathaway Plaza Office, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ms. Doody was born on November 15th, 1916, and is now 87 years old. My name is Michael Willie, and I'll conduct this interview. Ms. Doody, could you state for the recording your name and its spelling, please?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

My name is Kathryn M. Doody, K-A-T-H-R-Y-N, M, middle initial, Doody, D-O-O-D-Y.

Michael Willie:

Okay. And during which years did you serve?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

1940 and 19 -- to 1966.

Michael Willie:

Okay. And which branch of the service?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Army Nurse Corps.

Michael Willie:

And what was your highest rank attained there?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Major.

Michael Willie:

And where were you born, Major Doody?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Eaton, Maryland.

Michael Willie:

Whereabouts is Eaton, Maryland?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

It's in Somerset County, and about seven or 10, 14 miles from Salisbury, Maryland.

Michael Willie:

Tell me about your family. Did you have any brothers or sisters growing up?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I had one brother and three sisters.

Michael Willie:

Okay. Older? Younger? Where did they fit in?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I am the youngest.

Michael Willie:

You are the youngest. You're a baby.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes. And I'm the only one left now.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. You were born in Eaton, Maryland. Were you raised there also? Did you spend your formative years there?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes, I did.

Michael Willie:

Okay. And what did your parents do? What did your dad do for a living?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

He was a farmer.

Michael Willie:

I guess that made you a farmer too, didn't it?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Farmer's daughter.

Michael Willie:

Yeah. That's it. All right. Now, born in Eaton. You spent your formative years there. Did you graduate high school?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes, I did.

Michael Willie:

Okay. And so what do you do after high school? What's next?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

My mother wanted to find something for her daughters to do, to make them something other than farmer's daughters.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And she went looking.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And she went to the hospital in Salisbury and she asked about getting her daughters involved in learning nursing.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And my sister and I, Emily, received applications to be filled out for nursing shortly after that. We knew nothing about what our mother had done.

Michael Willie:

Oh, really.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And we were asking, "How did this come about," and so she told us.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And then we got excited about it --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- and filled out the application.

Michael Willie:

And at that time, you have to think about, with -- as far as women working, probably nursing and teaching was about it, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

I mean, there wasn't -- there weren't really a lot of opportunities.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. Not for farmer's daughters --

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- anyway.

Michael Willie:

Right. Okay. All right. So you get the application, fill it out. And what next? You're accepted or is it -- is it a qualification?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

We are accepted.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. All right. So now where is the -- where actually do you go to school for this?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

In Salisbury.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

The hospital.

Joe:

Peninsula General Hospital.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes. The general hospital.

Michael Willie:

Okay. In Salisbury? All right. And you and your sister are together there? I mean, is it --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes. Yes.

Michael Willie:

-- where the -- Okay. So that's got to make it nice for you too, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

Comfortable. Did you know anybody else there?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. I don't believe we did.

Michael Willie:

Okay. All right. So you go to Salisbury General Hospital.

Joe:

Peninsula General Hospital.

Michael Willie:

Peninsula general Hospital. Got you. All right. And so what's the training like?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, it was a little bit difficult, because we had to be very cautious about everything we did. And it was pretty serious studying --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- to do, and ...

Michael Willie:

Were you actually living there or were you living at home in --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. You lived there. And ...

Michael Willie:

Kind of a dormitory-like setting?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes. Yes.

Michael Willie:

You would take classes?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

Were you actually on the floor too?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes --

Michael Willie:

-- with a practical and --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

-- theoretical?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

All right. So it sounds like a pretty good training --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

-- at that time. Pretty thorough. How long does the training last?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Three years.

Michael Willie:

Three years. All right. So this is, then, probably around '34, '35? '36?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

'37, I believe.

Michael Willie:

'37?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

That was graduation time.

Michael Willie:

Got you. Okay. So you get out in 1932. Your sister and you both --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

-- graduate. And then, what? Did you stay there, or you did start looking for a job?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I was anxious to see the world.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

But we had a doctor that was like a grandfather to the nurses. And he was very anxious as to what they did when they graduated. And his idea was, the best thing you could do was private duty. And he tried to sell me that. Well, I did private duty for a while, but there wasn't enough nursing involved in that. All you did was sort of beautician work for the patients. And so I got a catalog that had all the listing of places in the American hospitals. And you know, there were in all the states and everything. So I'd picked out something like Wisconsin or Oregon. And he kept asking me if I didn't made up my mind yet about what I was going to do. And so, yes, I told him yes. And he said, "What is it?" And I said, "I'm going out to Wisconsin or Oregon." And he said --

Michael Willie:

Any particular reason -- Wisconsin or Oregon seems like --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Far away.

Michael Willie:

Yeah.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Anyhow, he said, "Let me give you some advice. On your first trip away from home, always have the amount of money in your pocket to return home. Because you're going to get homesick and run home as soon as you do." And I -- I paid attention to him. I listened.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so I gave up on the far, distant places. And I thought, "Where do I want to go now?" And I decided that -- I had never been to the capital of the nation.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

They had always had a trip from the high schools for the students to take this trip in high school. Well, I thought, this is the time to see it, I suppose. So I picked out a hospital in Washington, D.C. And he told me {clears throat} -- excuse me -- when I decided where I wanted to go, let him know. He would pick up the phone and call and see that I got employed, which he did one particular day. And I picked out Sibley Hospital. And --

Michael Willie:

You said Sibley?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Sibley.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And he picked up the phone, just like he said he would do, and called. And they needed nurses right away. So he told me -- asked me if I could be there by tomorrow, and they would, you know, accept me. And I said, "Well, I have to have a little time to unpack my suitcase." I had just come back from a weekend away. So he said, "Well, when, then?" And I decided that, about three days or so, I would be available to go. So I did.

Michael Willie:

And that's still close enough to home --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

-- to where you're not --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I can always --

Michael Willie:

-- but you're still away on your own.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

So you get the best of both worlds. Plus the excitement of being in Washington, D.C --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

-- right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, I stayed in Sibley for three or four months. And they had a doctor there who was a little bit wild in his behavior. He used to take -- rip the shirts off interns in the operating room when they did something that displeased him. And so I was working on a postpartum ward, and I was on night duty at the time. And they had called me and told me they were sending down a patient from the delivery room, and she would need an intravenous. But we never kept those things on the ward at that time. We had to call the supervisor, and she would see that we got the material, whatever it was. So I was on the phone talking to the supervisor about getting this intravenous, and they brought the patient down from the delivery room. And I pointed to the room where she was to go, and the doctor and nurse and attendant took her down there. And while I was still talking to the supervisor -- and it was not gossip or something like that. It was about this intravenous.

Michael Willie:

It was your job, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes. And this doctor came up and he said to me, "Get off the telephone." And so I spoke to the supervisor and signed off. And he said to me, "Young lady, don't you ever continue talking on the phone when I come on the scene." He had said, before that, "Get up off your butt," and, you know, go down to the room where the patient is. So this was the fellow that ripped the shirts off --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- the interns. Well, I wasn't about to accept a doctor talking to me like that, even though I was a nurse. And so when the evening was over, the next morning, I went and spoke to the chief nurse. "I want to resign." And she said, "Do you mind telling me why? We have a hard time getting nurses here to stay." And I told her about this incident. And so she said, "Well, is there anyplace else in the hospital you would like to work, rather than where you are?" And I said, "No." And so she said, "Well, give -- take two more weeks and then let me know whether you still feel that way." So I did. And when I went back, her assistant was at the desk. And when I told her I was there to resign, she said, "Young lady, do you know, when you first -- you resign from one government position, it is almost impossible for you to get another one." And so I just went on my way and went back to see the regular chief nurse, when she was there, and told her I was going to be leaving. And so I did. And I was going to go back to Eaton.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

But one of the patients in the ward, the ward I was working on, said to me, "Don't go back." She said, "Go out to Walter Reed. They take civilians. You don't have to --" I told her -- I said, "I'm not in the Army and I can't get in the Army. They won't accept me." I was too short. And she said, "Well, you go out there. You go -- you go into the Navy. The Navy'll take you." I said, "No, their regulations are the same." She said, "No, they're not." So I listened to her, and I went down to the Naval office in Washington, and talked to them, and they said, "No, if you pass everything else and you're 60 inches," which I was, "we'll take you."

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

So I went down to Norfolk Naval Hospital. And there, you had six months' probation, where they decided whether they wanted you and you decided whether you wanted to stay. And so while I was there, about two months after I had been there, the nurses called me from Walter Reed, and they said, "Get back up here. They've lowered the height regulation to 60 inches." And so I was delighted. And I went to the Navy people, and I said, "I want to resign." And they wanted to know why. And I said, "I have another offer of a position." So I went back to Walter Reed. And this was in June of 1940. And I -- they had me taking the oath of office. And when I got through with the oath, the adjutant who was giving it to me said to me, "Young lady, are you --" he said, "Are you aware that this is serious talk that you've been saying?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Well, you were grinning from ear to ear." And I said, "Well, I'm so happy to be here." And so he accepted that.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And I -- I stayed. And ...

Michael Willie:

What kind of commitment are we talking about when you go in, as far as time, here? Do you actually sign on for a certain amount of time --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- or --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- just until --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

You say the oath of office, and you keep that, and all the other regulations they have --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- for employees. And so I got used to that. And I enjoyed my time.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. All right. And this is in June of 1942 --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

-- right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

Okay. Well, take me from there.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, this -- I went to Walter Reed, knowing -- I really -- they always put signs up on the bulletin board of places where you can transfer to, you know. And so one day on the bulletin board they had Hawaii. And I thought, "Oh, boy. How I would like to go to Hawaii." And so I signed up for it. And I was chosen to go. And that was in September of 1941.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so I hadn't been there for very long when the bombs descended.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Well, let's -- in September of 1941, when you think about it, we're not at war.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

But there is thought -- I mean, a lot of people think we'll be at war soon, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. Nobody mentioned anything.

Michael Willie:

Nobody -- nobody really talked about --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

"-- we're going to get --"

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- into it at any time? So you go to Hawaii. And that's really the farthest thing from your mind, anyway. You just want to see --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

-- Hawaii, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. And I hadn't gotten very far about seeing it --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- when the bombs fell.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Do you remember that morning --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes --

Michael Willie:

-- that --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- I do. They woke me up, the noise. And I thought, "What in the world can this be?" 'Cause I never heard any racket that was so profound.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. And where are you actually living at that time? Where are you stationed?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

At Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu --

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- in -- in the nurses quarters.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

So finally, when I couldn't go back to sleep, because I turned from side to side, and nothing -- they wouldn't stop dropping the bombs. And so I got up and I went to the bathroom to do the tooth-brushing and face-washing and stuff like that. And we had a window in the bathroom. It was like close to the sink where you were working. And so I looked out while I was brushing my teeth. And the sergeant that lived in the house next to the nurses quarters ran out of his house in the yard -- to the yard and looked up in the sky, as bewildered as I was. And I said to myself, "Well, if he doesn't know what's going on, nobody knows," because that's what they told me when I came in.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, finally the other nurses starting coming -- getting up.

Michael Willie:

And could you see anything or could you just hear it?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. We went out in the yard when the other nurses came up, and looked up, and saw antiaircraft smoke up in the sky, and didn't know, you know, still, what it signified. And pretty soon, one of the enlisted men, the driver of an ambulance, ran out of the hospital, and jumped in an ambulance and took off. And so I said, "Well, whatever is happening, there's been an accident, because, here, he's gone." So the more nurses got up and came out, they all suggested one thing or another about what was happening. And one said, "Oh, it's the pilots, the military pilots. Whichever one, Army or Navy, has the duty for the weekend, they make all the noise and racket they can to wake the others up who are sleeping." So I accepted that, you know. And then pretty soon, the night nurse came off duty and she said to us, "Girls, you know what's happening?" And we said, "No. What's happening?" She said, "The island of Oahu has been attacked by the enemy, Japan." And I said, "Shut up." Because she was a person that always had the greatest stories, you know, to relate. And she said, "Don't pay any attention to me. Go turn your radios on." So I went in the room and turned the radio on, and that's exactly what they were repeating over and over again. "The island of Oahu has been attacked by the enemy, Japan." And so I thought, "That means war. What's war going to be like?"

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And I was on call because I was working in the operating room. And the phone rang as I'm pondering over there. And the nurse in the operating room said, "Ms. Doody, would you mind coming over to the operating room? They're bringing all these men in from Hickam Field." Would I mind? I'm on duty anyway, supposed to be on call.

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so I -- I was all dressed except for my uniform. And I put that on. And I couldn't get that off my mind about the war coming. And I'm still pondering. I couldn't figure out what it's going to be like. So I'm walking across the field to the hospital, and then I remembered the stuff I had seen in the sky. And I said to myself, "What goes up also comes down." So I picked up my feet and I ran as fast as I could, to get under cover.

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And then I got in the hospital, into the operating room. They had as many stretchers as they could get in one room. You know, all the rooms were filled up with wounded men. And so they told me which room to go in, and so I got scrubbed up and went in. And we were operating on a fellow that had had a fractured leg above the knee, and they were going to amputate that. So the largest bone I had seen amputated in my health -- in my nurse or --

Michael Willie:

Career.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- career was a finger or a toe. And I said to myself, "The sound of sawing bone, I don't think I can stand, so I'm going to faint." And I never fainted in my life before. And I turned to get something -- an instrument off the table for the surgeon. And when I turned back, they were taking that leg, above the knee, out of the hospital. So apparently the bone was already fractured -- I mean, severed --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- and all they had to do was snip it with shears.

Michael Willie:

And they came around?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Huh?

Michael Willie:

Are you thinking at this time, "This is what war is like?" I mean, this is --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. I had gotten my mind off what war is like because I was finding out.

Michael Willie:

Right. No. That's what I mean.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

I mean, you had a --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

You had a first-hand realization --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I don't think I --

Michael Willie:

-- of what war --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- I could stand the sound of bone being sawed. And so then a plane flew over, and we heard the bullets hitting the pavement. And the doctor that was working stuck ducked his head, like that. He said, "That was a close one." But none of it hit the hospital. And I've often wondered, they -- at first they didn't know what to do, except to camouflage the hospital.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And then they were told, "No, you put a red cross on hospitals." And I've often thought later that if the Japanese respected the red cross on the hospitals. Because I don't recall if they dropped bombs on any of the hospitals over there. So anyway, we worked -- we worked until midnight that night. And because of the blackout that you had to have made, they couldn't move anymore or -- move the patients away from the floor where the operating room was. And so they sent us home till the next day. And they warned us that they had brought the soldiers in and they were guarding the hospital. And I found out later that that was the only hospital they ever put guards on. And I presume it was because this hospital was on top of the island connection of -- you know, the ...

Michael Willie:

Communications?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Communications. Yeah. And that's why they --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- had it guarded. And when I went home -- Oh, and they said that, on the way home, we'd like -- we're likely to be stopped by a soldier with a "halt," and we were to give our name and -- I forget whether it was number or what else, but there's some things we were supposed to give the soldier. And so I thought, "Well, this is where I -- I get shot to death, because I'll be speechless when I hear that yell to halt," you know.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, we didn't run into any on the way home. And so then in the nurses' quarters, it was all dark, of course. And the way I couldn't find where my room was, was by feeling the water fountains. We had one in each end of the building. And I was down to the far end, and so I kept across -- I mean, down the hall, feeling along until I ran into that water fountain. And {clears throat} -- excuse me -- when I did, I went in and went to bed. Well, of course I couldn't go to sleep.

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so finally, they had -- we didn't have any air conditioning, and the windows and everything were closed. And so I heard my neighbor across the hall turn over in bed, and so I got up and went over and said to her, "Are you awake?" And she said, "Yes." And I said, "Well, tell me what's been happening today," you know. So I got in bed with her until she reported all she knew about the war --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- going on, and what's happening, and everything like that. And then I got back and went to my bed, and I went to sleep for a while.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. You were probably exhausted too.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Willie:

_____+ It's been a long day, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm. To be able to talk to somebody and hear something. And so the next morning, we started all over again, you know, with the rooms being filled with wounded soldiers. And some of them, during the night, had released the tourniquets they had on so they would die. You know, they didn't want to live with whatever wound they had received. So we had all sorts of sad things happening, and ... Then things slowed down. We soon caught up with the wounded people. And there was still war, bombing and stuff like that going on. So we got to go to the club on -- sometime during the day, wearing our uniforms, and dancing over there. And I believe we -- they let us have a drink of wine or something there.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

That was what we were to do, to have a little bit of recreation.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. It had been pretty stressful for a little bit, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

I mean, pretty --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- pretty tough. But by this time, America is preparing for war. Is that -- is it different being there in Hawaii? Because first of all, you're not really on the mainland; and second of all, you were actually involved in the attack. So is there -- is there more of a bond or more of a sense of nationalism or --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I don't remember having anything like that. I guess I did think about some of the things like that, but mostly we were so busy that -- that that's what your mind was on.

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

When you saw some of the nurses that were not in the operating room, you could find out what had happened during the day --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- and that sort of thing.

Michael Willie:

All right. So -- how long does it take for things to kind of get back to normal as you slow down a little bit? Is this a matter of days or weeks?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, when you're loaded, it will take a week or so.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Otherwise, a day or so. (Break.)

Michael Willie:

Okay. So we're going back to the morning of December -- or the day of December 7th, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

A ____+ meeting?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes. The morning.

Michael Willie:

Go ahead.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And there was a high-rated doctor who was giving it. And I think his name was Dr. Ironside. And he had changed his topic that he was going to talk about on Sunday morning, from whatever -- he didn't mention what -- but to surgical trauma. And these doctors were from all over the islands. And they were -- when they got a call from the Army headquarters, after it's known what was happening, to report to the military hospital, all of them, you know, that were there.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And's so that's why we were so busy with three or four tables --

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- in one room. And they were excellent people. And it was just great to work with them.

Michael Willie:

And luckily enough, you have staffing there for it, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

I mean, otherwise you probably would have lost a lot more -- a lot more lives.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

I mean, that's an amazing coincidence.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

Because a lot of people have also talked about, usually all the ships weren't there at the same time.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

It just happened --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

-- on this day they were. Incredible coincidence. And one more thing we were going to mention. You finished the three-year program, and that gave you -- was it actually an RN, a registered nurse, or was it equivalent to today's RN? Was it actually called a --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

-- registered nurse?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

Okay. So the initial part is over. You kind of come down from that. But now the war is -- it's actually getting started. We're trying to get troops together and get ready --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

-- right? So what does that mean to you there at in Hawaii?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, it was -- things were quieter --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- and slower, you know. It wasn't a crash or crush or being so busy-busy.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And then, in -- let's see -- '41, '42 -- '42, I believe, or a little bit more than -- I mean, I don't know how late it was in the year '42 -- they decided that -- {clears throat} excuse me -- we people who had been there on December the 7th, 1941, were seasoned troops --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- so -- and by this time, Hitler had gotten things, you know, opened up for World War II.

Michael Willie:

Right. Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so they decided to give us 45 days' leave and then send us over to Europe. Which they did.

Michael Willie:

Okay. And -- now, how did you feel about that?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well --

Michael Willie:

Because before, you talked -- you had said -- you had started out saying, "I want to travel. I want to -- I want to see the world."

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, you know what? I wasn't anxious to leave that group of people that I had been working with.

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

But I decided that if I turned it down, that I would be sorry. And if my family ever found out that I had done such a thing, they wouldn't appreciate it.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

So I went home.

Michael Willie:

And so you were able to get back to the States. Was that included in your -- in your 45 days, or is it 45 days once you get back to the States?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

It was 45 days once we get back to the States.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And on the -- on the way from the west coast to the east coast, on the train, I sat with an officer who had been over in the other military unit in Honolulu, the one I can't remember the name of. It's, you know what, silly that you can't remember, but that's -- sorry. That's the way it is. And so after I had been home -- And we got assigned at home for a little while, till they got ready to send us to Europe. And so while I was doing time in Norfolk Naval Hospital, that I had gotten assigned to, I got a call from this officer that I had sat with on the train, and he said he was going to be the commanding officer of the field hospital, and he wanted me to be his chief nurse. And --

Michael Willie:

Based on a conversation you had?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And I wasn't interested in being a chief nurse. And I told him, I said, "You don't have to make me a chief nurse. Just take me with you," you know, "and I'll be a nurse." And so he went to the surgeon general's office en route and requested me to be his chief nurse. And so I got the notice and -- for the -- I got the transfer to move, to start on this trip over to Europe.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

We met at Ft. Jackson, North Carolina, where we collected the people to make up the amount that you needed to --

Michael Willie:

South Carolina, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Okay. And when I got down to Ft. Jackson, he said to me, "I want to let you know, you were one of two nurses that I knew back here in the States. And so the other nurse is on the west coast, and I knew I wouldn't have a chance to get her," so he took me, which was to say to me, "Don't expect too many favors from me now just because I requested you."

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so we had a little training at Ft. Jackson to get everybody acquainted with each other.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And then we got our orders to go to Europe. So we went and were deposited in Great Britain to wait until they crossed the channel.

Michael Willie:

Okay. Now, how -- how did you get overseas?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Ship.

Michael Willie:

Had you ever been on the ocean before?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Was this your first --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

When I went to Honolulu.

Michael Willie:

Oh, that's right. You had. Okay. I'm sorry.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so --

Michael Willie:

So you're sent to -- where did you go?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

We went to Great Britain.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Where we lived with British families.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And the way they did this was, a military man from Britain met our military man from the ship, and they took him up the streets, and we stopped at each house, where they found out how many occupations they could have for somebody there. They had taken us two years before, where they took a record of who had vacant rooms --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- or beds, to take care of people like that. And so then we spent a month or so in Great Britain --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- with these families. And --

Michael Willie:

Was -- I mean, was it in -- I don't know how you describe safe, but was it in areas that were close to where bombing was? I mean, was that a concern to you?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. I don't think so. Because we didn't hear any of that.

Michael Willie:

So you were living with a family?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And they told us, before we went in the house with these people, not to bother them with wanting this or that or the other thing, you know. And so I kept on my own. I just came home and went upstairs and -- to the bedroom, you know, and went out the next morning to where we were having a unit collection.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And one day, as I was coming home and opened the door, the lady of the house opened the door from the rest of the house, and she said, "Young lady --" they called us "billeties," "Young lady, you are very unsociable," or something like that, you know. You know, "We hadn't visited us with us or anything like that." I said, "Well, we were told not to." Well, she was aggravated with that. She never heard of such a thing. Because they're very polite, the British people.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so after that, we visited. They had me down for dinners and things like that, and we became very good friends.

Michael Willie:

Which would be much more comfortable, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Oh, yes. Yeah.

Michael Willie:

I mean, you were living there.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

But we couldn't tell them when we were leaving, you know, when we got ready to go over to Germany. And so we had been out for overnight, and had _____ some of our time in Britain, and so we didn't have to make any excuse for not being there. We just took off, you know. And so when they got over to Europe and called back and said where I was, you know, like that, she said, "Well, you didn't even tell us you were leaving." And I said, "No. We're supposed to keep it a secret." She knew that. She understood it.

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

But anyhow ...

Michael Willie:

Just a polite ____+ aspect. Now, during the training, though, when you go to the training, are you aware that something big is about to happen at any time; they're -- they're planning on making the move to start the push? I mean, is that what you're preparing for?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Okay. I mean, you are aware that there's going to be an invasion.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Oh, yeah.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Well, that's part of the war that you --

Michael Willie:

I know.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- aren't familiar --

Michael Willie:

As --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

As it was getting close --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- I didn't know if you, like, realized that something --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, we crossed the channel on D plus 29.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And it was strange to see the -- what the enemy had done, you know; how the fields looked and everything. But we -- we landed in France in hedge rows. We lived in pup tents between hedge rows.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And --

Michael Willie:

And after 29 days, they're still not too far away, right? I mean, they've --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. No. The thing of it was, our equipment was -- was on a ship with Patton's armor, and he was going so fast that -- you know, he had choice -- first choice on getting his equipment before we did.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so it was several months before we -- we got any equipment to work with.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Do you remember where you landed in France?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. I know -- I know we -- the ship landed, you know, when we crossed the channel, and -- oh, what was the name of the beach? Utah Beach?

Michael Willie:

Utah Beach.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

I believe that's what --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. But we moved on across Holland and Belgium and into France, and then --

Michael Willie:

So you're waiting for your equipment to catch up with you --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- or --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

So what were you doing in the meantime?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Very little. But this commanding officer we had was treating us like children. Everything was going smoothly. But these nurses that we had -- and that had discipline of the Army, because they had just joined us, you know --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- right from civilian life.

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so he decided that he'd keep them as near prison as he could, you know, so he could keep his eye on them. Because over where he had come from in Hawaii, two of the nurses over there had gotten pregnant, and so he was going to make sure that he'd keep an eye on us.

Michael Willie:

And plus you're in a place where there's probably not a lot of, you know, women around.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Oh, yeah. There's nobody around. And I think, as well as I can remember, that we lived on K rations, you know, because we had no kitchen equipment --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- there or anything, and we -- we just had these boxed foods to eat. And anyway, I got to the point where the commanding officer was so mistreating, I felt, to the nurses, that I didn't want to have much to do with him. 'Cause I was young then and didn't know how to talk to commanding officers. And anyway, one day I was sent for by him to come to the tent where they had the office. That was one pyramidal tent where they kept the records and everything. And when I walked in, he was sitting down. And of course, there was no chair for me, so I was standing up. And he said, "Ms. Doody, I -- I think you are aware of the fact that I have court martialed one officer in our unit," which was the advocate, "and I just want to warn you that you'll be the next in line if you don't change your behavior." And I said, "Colonel, I would welcome a court martial to get out of your unit." He slumped over like this, and finally he raised up, and he said, "Why on earth do you say such a thing?" And I said, "It's because of the way you treat the nurses." And he said, "Why didn't you tell me what I was doing?" And I said, "Colonel, if I had thought for a minute you didn't know what you were doing, I would have been glad to." Well, I got away with that. And after he saw us working, the nurses, after we went to work, he came up to me the first day he visited the tent I was in. And I -- we had 18 nurses in this unit, but we were all -- we were split off into three platoons, so there's only, what, six nurses in a platoon. And he came up behind me the first time he visited us, and he said, "I just want to tell you, you're a sight for sore eyes." Well, he meant that for all the nurses, you know. And so I was glad that he had seen something that he liked about us.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And everything went along fine.

Michael Willie:

Now, how long does it take your equipment to catch up with you?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

It was some months. I can't remember the time.

Michael Willie:

All right. And -- and the equipment that's there -- Is this a -- is this a mobile unit, then? Are you --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

You're the first line --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- of the troops coming back.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

So that probably means -- How often does -- Does that mean you guys are going to have to stay -- You have to stay pretty close to the lines, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Oh, yeah. I can't say. But it was -- just any -- any time. I think we were left in one place for a few weeks.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Not any shorter time than that, as well as I can remember.

Michael Willie:

Now, do you remember the first time you got -- you actually got casualties coming in after you got set up? Do you remember the -- just the feeling when the casualties start coming in?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. I don't remember anything outstanding or specific about that.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And we had the emergency equipment, you know, to take care of intravenouses and stuff like that, but not anything to keep them there.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

We were mostly fixing the patients so they could be transferred to the larger hospitals.

Michael Willie:

Well, I was going to say, triage is probably the most important part of --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Right.

Michael Willie:

-- the job.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Now, let me ask you this: Somebody had mentioned to me that it was understood that if you had actually been overrun by the Germans, then you would have to work for them. Is that -- is that the case?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I really don't know.

Michael Willie:

Okay. Well, I've been told that. They said, as I understand, if the Germans pushed the Americans back and took over a hospital and the staff was there, was still there, that they would actually have to --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Well, I didn't hear about any of that.

Michael Willie:

Okay. So how -- is it -- is it -- it's got to be stressful to a certain extent, but is it fearful? Are -- do you ever find yourself afraid out there, that -- that you're going to be hurt, or are you too busy to think about it?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

We must have been too busy. The only time I was fearful was the time that I was supposed to be halted by a soldier, you know.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

That's the -- that's the only time I remember that.

Michael Willie:

All right. Now, since you had three platoons, does that -- three platoons of nurses, does that mean basically that you worked three shifts? Is that --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. No. We were separated --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- in the platoons. And --

Michael Willie:

So you worked whenever, then.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes. And I had to go around and visit them with the commanding officer, you know. And everything was very smooth. The nurses were marvelous. Because none of them couldn't stand the work or face it or anything, or got sick.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And we -- we just didn't have anything critical with the nurses.

Michael Willie:

I would think it would be -- be difficult especially if you hadn't been in that situation before.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. It was amazing.

Michael Willie:

And I think a lot of these guys -- a lot of the men who come in and talk really talk wonders about how, not -- not only professional the nurses were, but also how caring --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

-- they were, to -- to a point where they were able to provide that emotional support when they needed it.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Is that trained or is that -- is that just a human part of -- of being a nurse?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I think it's just human, of being a nurse.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. All right. So you're -- you're actually following pretty -- How far from behind the line or how close to the line would you actually -- would you actually be as you were moving in?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I really couldn't say, because -- I couldn't see the lines. But it didn't take them long to get those patients to us.

Michael Willie:

Was there ever a time for any relaxation, any time to just kind of rest and get away from it, or, being in that position, were you constantly busy and never had time to ...

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, we -- I think we had time at night, you know. We worked -- some nurse was on during the night, but the rest of us, we were off at nighttime.

Michael Willie:

I was wondering if there was anything you could do to kind of relieve the stress. Because it had to stressful. Just being a nurse, period, would be a stressful situation. Was there anything you could do to kind of let your hair down and relax, any kind of recreation or just getting together and talking or anything like that?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, we -- we could do that after -- you know, the day nurses could get together --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- and talk. But I think most of the time, we were just -- Well, we did, you know, do that, and then -- then off to bed.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Sleep.

Michael Willie:

Were you writing much? And to whom were you writing?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Just my family.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Did you have a specific boyfriend or -- or was there any kind of a --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- any significant other that --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Huh-uh.

Michael Willie:

All right. So you're basically working behind the lines.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

Do you remember in -- in -- say, in December -- are you following behind the lines after December, when the Bulge occurs?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

All right. Is there a concern during -- during the Battle of the Bulge, that maybe --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I don't remember that.

Michael Willie:

And were there -- were there any -- any men, any casualties, or any specific staff, nurses, anybody that -- that really comes to your mind as somebody who, you think back, look back, as somebody who might have influenced your life or you think about often or you think about? You know what I'm saying?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Anybody that --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. I do. But it's just been too far.

Michael Willie:

Right. Oh, I understand. I do understand. One more question I'm going to ask about this. Were there any kind of practical jokers or anybody who would -- maybe comedians or people who would just try to liven -- liven things up and -- and play jokes or anything that would make everybody loose and that sort of thing?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Over in Korea, the soldiers used to sing, "The Commies are coming, yoho, yoho." And -- and one of the places where we were, one soldier made a story about, oh, some kind of horrifying situation, and wrote it home to his mother. And she was just, you know, so upset about it. And the commanding officer heard about it, and so he got after him and told him not to do such a thing again.

Michael Willie:

Something that he just made up or something that --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. He was just thinking of all the horror that he could imagine --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- and just wrote it.

Michael Willie:

What a terrible thing to do to your mother.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

All right. Okay. So you're following behind the lines, then, and going through France. And then did you actually go into Germany?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

All right. And there's no -- I mean, you really aren't in a position where you feel like you're going to be overrun or you're going to be shot or anything? Do you remember seeing any planes going over or anything that really signified the war? You were probably so busy anyway. Do you remember when the war was over in Europe?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. I think I was on a trip to the Riviera, had some time off.

Michael Willie:

Wow. Now, see, that doesn't sound too bad.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, that's getting close to -- we were in a bigger hospital then --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- and --

Michael Willie:

So when does that happen, then? They pull you -- or the -- they transfer everybody into a bigger hospital? Is that the case? Or is it just you?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. It's wherever they -- the people are, that -- the casualties are, bringing them in --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- you know. And this is -- this is to the bigger hospitals, where the minor ones out in the field --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- transfer them. That's where you keep them to, you know, try and get them --

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- back to health again and -- a general hospital. And ...

Michael Willie:

So you were working in a general hospital at that time?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. And that's when we were getting time to take a --

Michael Willie:

R and R?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

So you went to the Riviera.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Well, that had to be pretty nice.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

In uniform? Or were you --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I believe so.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. And I'll bet you were pretty popular, then. What did you do in the Riviera? Talk to me about that.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Let me see if I can remember. I know it was very pleasant, but I -- I'm sorry. I can't remember.

Michael Willie:

No, no. Please. I'm just -- I'm just -- I'm throwing out questions. You answer them --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Well, and that's good because --

Michael Willie:

-- as you can.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- these are things I haven't thought about for a while.

Michael Willie:

Okay. So you're at the Riviera and you find out that the war is over, right? Or the war is --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, we were flying into Plagne.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- on our way there, I believe it was. We heard that the war had been declared over.

Michael Willie:

In Europe.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. So is there any thought in your mind, uh-oh, you might be going to the Pacific, or is that --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. I never gave that a thought.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Now, let me get back to another point. You did have a brother, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Okay. And was your brother in the war also or --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- was he too old for that?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

He was too old for that.

Michael Willie:

All right. And you're the -- are you the only one in the family, then, that goes out? Your sister was a nurse also, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Was -- did -- was she involved in anything or --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- did she go back home?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

She was home. She got married.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I had one sister later on, after the war was over, I believe. My older sister was a WAC.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. All right. So you were representing the family well. You're globetrotting, going all over the -- the place. You're at the Riviera.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

And you're -- you are -- you're realizing your -- your -- your feeling that you wanted to see the world.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

I mean, it's got to be pretty exciting for somebody --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

-- at that -- at that time. All right. So you find out the war is over in Europe. And then what does that mean to you at that time? You still have a job to do, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

For quite a while. So you spend your time at the Riviera, and you go back to the hospital. So basically, are you -- did you stay there in the general hospital until everyone's taken care of, or how did --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. I -- they -- they -- I think they considered me a pretty good seasoned person --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- always traveling. Because they sent me -- you know, I was at World War II, and then I went to Korea.

Michael Willie:

Okay. Well, let's -- let's talk about that, then. You stayed, then -- how long did you stay in Europe?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Oh, I guess it must have been '45 or '46, something like that.

Michael Willie:

Okay. And then when you come back to the -- when you come back to the States, is there any thought that you want to, like, get out of the service or go into --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- private --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- practice?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

It's been good to you --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- up to this point --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. I just liked it.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. So do you get -- you get a promotion then or how -- how do you --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I got one promotion over in Germany. I got promotion to first lieutenant, and then to captain over there.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And --

Michael Willie:

So there's incentive for you to stay in, right? I mean, are you making decent money, then, as a captain?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes. As far as I considered it.

Michael Willie:

Right. And plus the -- I mean, the job is something you're obviously very good at.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

And it gave you a certain status.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Oh, I forgot to say, I believe that in the field hospital, the commanding officer that offered me the -- what's the punishment ...

Michael Willie:

Oh, the court martial?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Court martial. He gave me a Bronze Star.

Michael Willie:

Really.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Later on.

Michael Willie:

For --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

For the work I was doing.

Michael Willie:

For valor.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

Isn't that wonderful.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

And you deserved it, right? I mean, it's -- Yes. You're humble. But yes, you did deserve it.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, I -- it was surprising, you know, to come from him, after what he'd said, but ...

Michael Willie:

Yeah. I think you woke him up. You probably deserved a Bronze Star just for waking him up. Hold on one second. (Break.)

Michael Willie:

All right. So when you get out of Europe, you're -- come back to the -- come back to the States. And then where -- where are you stationed at this point, or where do you go to work at this point?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I'm not sure.

Michael Willie:

Are you happy being in the States or are you more than willing now --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Oh, yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- to see the world --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- go anywhere you can?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I was willing to go anywhere.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

But then, you know, I can't remember.

Joe:

Puerto Rico.

Michael Willie:

Was it Puerto Rico? Manila? You were in Manila?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. But I was in San Francisco.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And I think I left there and went to Japan. And I was in Japan a short time.

Michael Willie:

While in Japan, your nephew was there, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I think so. Weren't you, Joe?

Joe:

Yes.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Okay.

Joe:

GHQ. General ______+.

Michael Willie:

And by this time, you're -- Are you a captain at this time?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

Okay. So really, you've got, I mean, probably good -- good assignments. Wherever you go, you have quite a bit of responsibility. Is that the case?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, after World War II, I decided that I had to specialize in something, because there -- there were too many things involved with medicine --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- to be transferring from one place to another in the Army, where you go from anything, you know ...

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so I thought I better train for one specific thing. So I -- I didn't choose anesthesia, the chief nurse did that.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And she never told me a thing about it until the -- the person from Washington, D.C. came and was going to interview the person, the student, you know, to be students. And so I said to my friends, "Do you think I could be an anesthetist?" Because it was a kind of a startling thing to me. And they said, "Oh, sure. Sure. Sure. You can do it. You can do it."

Michael Willie:

Another decision made for you, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Yeah. So I did that. And then -- San Francisco, and then in Tokyo. I know we were wondering about being sent to Korea and Japan when things starting working up that way.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And the -- I forget what position he was in the Army -- came up to surgery one day and said, "You can stop worrying about going to Korea," you know, because they were sending over an evac hospital, and they wouldn't need individuals like us.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so --

Michael Willie:

At that time, where were you? Were you back in the States or were you --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Yeah. I was in -- Well, no. In Japan.

Michael Willie:

Okay. You were in Japan.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Yeah. And two weeks, I think it was, after he said that, we got orders to go to Korea.

Michael Willie:

To go to Korea.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Especially you. Because you had experience, right --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- from World War II, which probably made you a very valuable --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I think they remembered that, every time they needed somebody to go to the war zones.

Michael Willie:

Well, and a lot of the women had gotten out of the service, right? Gotten married and --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Willie:

And so that just made you a very attractive candidate, I mean, as far as --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

-- as far as having the -- having the -- the experience.

Joe:

I've got to tell you something.

Michael Willie:

Yeah. Hold on one second. Yeah. Does this concern you at all or is this just part of the responsibility?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, I thought it would have been nice, you know, like they said, that we didn't have to worry about going to Korea.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. But did you -- did you realize at that point also that you were probably the best person for the job? I mean --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

You didn't?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

Didn't make any difference? Okay. So you get your orders. And what does this mean? From this point on, you start getting equipment together; you start -- Do you -- do you have anything to do with the people that are sent with you, or is that done from -- from a higher --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

They just assign --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. That's -- that's done any way they wanted to assign them.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. But did you have any choice as far as if you wanted anybody working with you --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

Or for you? None whatsoever. It's just your job to get in there and ____+. Okay. So how long does it actually take before you're sent over?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I don't remember.

Michael Willie:

Okay. All right. And at that time, your nephew, Joe, was actually in -- he was in Korea, right? I mean, he was over there. Did you think about that at all?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

It doesn't occur to you at all?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

I just think that would be the worst feeling, to think that you're working in a hospital, and all of a sudden you see somebody you know come in, you know? That was just -- that would be really tough, or it would be tough to think about. I imagine the worst things -- you know, at times probably even think of the worst thing that could happen. So when you actually get into Korea, you are a mobile hospital, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

And what does that mean, exactly? You're -- Is it actually called a M.A.S.H.?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

M.A.S.H. Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Okay. And what is the responsibility of the M.A.S.H. hospital? What is the point of the M.A.S.H. unit?

Joe:

It's a mobile Army surgery hospital.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Yeah.

Joe:

That's where the word "M.A.S.H." comes from.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

I just wanted her to say it. So it's a mobile Army surgical hospital. And basically you take the serious injuries on the line? Is that -- is that it? After triage, you take the ones that it's life or death, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

Is that pretty much it?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

All right. That's got to be tough. Because you're probably getting guys right off the line -- I mean, right off the lines, right? And -- I mean, does -- How do you deal with the stress of that? I mean, is that just part of the job? You get hardened to that?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. It's just what you were trained to do.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. And you're -- are you dealing basic -- or mainly with anesthesiology here, or are you doing everything?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. Just anesthesia.

Michael Willie:

Okay. So you were just doing the -- rendering the anesthesia. All right. Now, does this -- is it any more stressful being in another war and doing this or, once again, is it just part of the job?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Just part of the job.

Michael Willie:

Okay. And are you there for a -- for a tour? Are you there for a year or -- I mean, do you know, coming in, that you're just going to be there for a tour --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- or is it an arrangement --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. Just as long as I'm needed. You know, when they were ready to ...

Michael Willie:

All right. Once again, I've got to ask you -- you probably don't know. But I mean, would you -- in this situation, do you have to move more often? Are you over there for a week or two and then have to pick up and move again?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. It's longer than that.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. All right. And around when is it when you're -- when you're actually sent there? Are you sent there, what, '50 ... '51?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I don't really know.

Michael Willie:

That's all right. That's all right. Don't worry about it.

Joe:

It was late '50.

Michael Willie:

Late '50. Okay. Do you remember anything in particular about the weather that -- I've just heard about some cold winters there.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Don't remember.

Michael Willie:

Okay. And do you remember about how long you were there in Korea?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

(Shakes head.)

Michael Willie:

Do you remember when you actually met with your nephew?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. He has to tell me. I know I met him, but I don't remember any of it.

Michael Willie:

He told that story when he ...

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

Do you think at all about Korea? Do you ever think back about the time that you spent in Korea, or is that just a -- just a little part of your life there?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I'll tell you, my memory has just been affected, and so these things, I can't tell you how --

Michael Willie:

No, no. That's fine. And I think that's what happens when you don't think about something for a long time --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- that it does -- it doesn't have the connections. I don't know how the physiology actually works.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, I -- it's -- it's affected my brain --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- actually.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And that's why I -- I can't help it.

Michael Willie:

That's -- that's absolutely fine. So you were in Korea. Do you remember about how long you were there in Korea?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Something like two years, I think.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Now, you were probably ready to get out after that time.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

You've spent a good portion of your life, actually, in war, right? I mean, compared to most people, or a lot of people, you've been in -- spent a good portion of your life in war. Let me ask you this: Do you -- when you're in this kind of a situation, when you're in a stressful situation, and you're, you know, on the lines, and you're, a lot of times, probably working long hours, does that tend to form really close relationships with people? Do you form close friendships that continue after you get out of the service or after that experience is over?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Usually.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. I mean, were there friends that you --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

-- had made over this that you kept up with --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

-- for years after you got out of the service? Anybody in particular? Any close friends that you got in touch with after you got out?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Not now.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. All right. So you're in Korea for a few years. And then did you come -- You come back to the States after that --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

-- or do you stay in the Far East?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. I was in Puerto Rico.

Michael Willie:

In Puerto Rico.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

That's where I decided to retire.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Because the people were so emotional there, and I just -- I don't know. I just thought, "This is more than I want to put up with."

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. I mean, in all fairness, I mean, dealing with war, that's a -- that's something that people should not have to deal with, you know, more than once in their lifetime. You've been through two wars, right? I mean, that's -- that's really tough. Now, is this shortly after the Korean War, then, or is this much later on, when you decided to get out?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I think it was, oh, five or six years afterwards, maybe.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. All right. At this point are you still a captain, or have you been --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. I'm still major.

Michael Willie:

Okay. Major. Is there thought now at this time that you can retire -- if you stay in a little longer, that you can retire, or can -- does it make no difference to you --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- to retire?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Because after 20 years, you can retire anytime.

Michael Willie:

All right. And had you been in 20 years at this time?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yes.

Michael Willie:

Okay. So this is in the '60s, then.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

Okay. Now, what about the Vietnam War? Was there any thought that you were going to be shipped over? Did that have anything to do with your decision to get out at all?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Huh-uh.

Michael Willie:

It had nothing to do with it?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Huh-uh.

Michael Willie:

You just got like it was time to get out?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

It was just the --

Michael Willie:

It was the right time.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- what I said, the -- the emotional part of it.

Michael Willie:

All right. Okay. So you decided to get out. Do you know what you were going to do after you retire, or does it --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. I was just going to be retired.

Michael Willie:

You were just going to be a --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I was --

Michael Willie:

-- retired?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I was ready to quit.

Michael Willie:

You weren't going to go to war anymore.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. No.

Michael Willie:

You weren't going do to that, or as far as dealing with that. I mean, was there any thought that you wanted to go with -- continue with your nursing after that or --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

All right. So what did you do after you -- after you retired?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, I did a little private duty for some, you know, friends or relatives, and then -- and doctors would call on me sometimes to come in and do a day's work or something like that, you know.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Help them out, you know. I did that.

Michael Willie:

And where were you living at that time? Were you back in Maryland?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I -- no. I was -- oh, yeah. Yeah. I was -- I lived in Laurel, Maryland, and -- what was the other place. Some -- some other place in Maryland, close to Laurel, or near, just kind of a short distance away from Washington, D.C.

Michael Willie:

Okay.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And ...

Michael Willie:

So you were just doing -- I mean, the -- you really didn't take on a full-time --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- full-time position?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. Huh-uh.

Michael Willie:

All right. Did you join any veterans organizations after you got out of the service, or was that --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. What was the regular veterans -- just, you know, veterans in Maryland.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And I don't know whether they had the veterans in D.C. or not. I know that what they did do about, something about they moved or -- the Maryland veterans -- I don't know -- remember whether it was just the chapter where I was -- to Virginia.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And -- because it wasn't in D. C. either.

Joe:

Maybe it was _____.

Michael Willie:

Okay. Now -- now, I had actually, before -- Did you -- did you get in touch with any of the -- any of the friends at that point? Were you in contact with anybody that you had served with during World War II or during the Korean War, and keep friendships after -- after all those years, or was that a separate life?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I think I probably did for a while. But at the present time, there's no one.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Right. But I'm just talking about the years --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- shortly after you got out --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- if you kept in contact. Because I wonder a lot, if you're in stressful situations during war time, and then you're put in another -- you know, in just regular, average, everyday life after that, if you kind of lose the -- the common bond or --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Huh uh.

Michael Willie:

-- by that -- after that.

Michael Willie:

All right. So what have you done since then? You were living in Maryland at that time. How did you end up back here in -- or here in Chattanooga?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Where I was in the District, where they had told me I had to go into assisted living.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And I couldn't afford it, because -- I -- I don't know whether I got the right news or not about it being $4,000 a month.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And I talked to the executive people, and they said, "You don't have to worry about affording it. We take care of you --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- you know. But I took that to mean that they took care of you by taking anything you had away from you --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- you know.

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And then -- it was just -- except -- I called Joe, because he was my power of attorney, and told him that I was told I had to go to assisted living and that I would not have anything, you know, left for anybody. And somehow it didn't seem right to me to have somebody doing the power of attorney for you.

Michael Willie:

Making those decisions, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, no. Not leaving them anything for what they're doing. Because they would have to come all the way from Tennessee up to D. C. because I had my funeral services already taken care of --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- and I was going to be buried in the national cemetery.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

But it still -- there was a lot of business to do, you know, and I couldn't see leaving something like that for someone to do and not leaving anything for them.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

So I called him and told him, you know, that I had to go into assisted living. He said, "Get down here." You know, "You come down here." So it was all settled right then and there, and that's what I did.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Now, how do you -- are you a member of any veterans groups anymore, or the women's veterans group here in --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

-- Chattanooga? Do you know anything about it? That might be something -- you know, you'd be wanted, very inspirational for that group. I'll get somebody there to get in touch with you at that point. Now, since that time, you were given -- What award were you actually given by the director of veterans affairs, Dr. Principi?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

It was this thing you saw me receiving.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Yeah. I just didn't know what, actually, that -- that distinction was called, and I wanted to --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, I'm not sure what it was called either.

Michael Willie:

All right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Didn't I read it somewhere?

Michael Willie:

Well, we shot the picture, because I want to -- I want to show the picture. When we do that --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- we can talk about what it is.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I think it's -- it's -- it's on that ...

Michael Willie:

Well, we'll look at that in a little bit. Now, what about a -- have you -- have you attended any reunions of, like, Pearl Harbor survivors or --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I -- I haven't lately, but I was doing that. Went back to Hawaii twice.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And -- and a couple of other places. But I'm too old to travel by myself.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And I have no friends now. Nobody's -- you know, to go with me.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

So I don't -- I don't do any of those things. I'm still a member, but I just don't go to them.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Let me ask you this: When you went to -- when you went back and visited Hawaii --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Willie:

-- did you -- did you go to Pearl Harbor? Did you go see the Arizona --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- Memorial?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

That's got to be an odd feeling, knowing that you were -- excuse me -- so close in proximity to all of the -- the devastation that was going on. I mean, do you think back about how -- how much danger you were actually in at that time?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No.

Michael Willie:

That's interesting. 'Cause I'd be scared to death. I would be absolutely scared to death. During the full time that you were in the service -- and I'd say probably specifically, or more importantly, the times when you were behind the lines in World War II and in the Korean War -- is -- was there anything that you took out of that experience that -- any -- any lesson that you learned or any experience that, looking back, kind of changed -- changed the way you -- the way you lived the rest of your life, or changed your -- any experience that really affected you and really kind of made who you are? Does that make any sense at all?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I think it did. But I can't say -- I can't remember any actual incident --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- that brought me to feel that way.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. Well, I think, if nothing else, just knowing that you came from a small, just a rural upbringing, and in that, you know, getting to see the world --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

I mean, that's pretty --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- major. I mean, that's --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, I -- I have this calmness about not being upset or perturbed --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- about this thing or that thing or, you know, anything new or different to other people. I feel like I've experienced just about everything.

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so I -- I am not real smitten by any --

Michael Willie:

Well, you're -- you've got perspective, I think is what it is.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well --

Michael Willie:

Other people have described it as saying, you know, when people have been shooting at you, or in your situation, when you've been that close to the lines, or that -- you know, that close to combat, then, you know, the little pressures of daily life really don't mean a whole lot, you know?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Well, I think I've -- my interests have turned more into Christianity --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- and Biblical things. Because when I retired, I decided -- I thought that -- I didn't know very much about the Bible. I had gone -- been raised, you know, with Biblical parents and going to church, but there hadn't been an understanding --

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- about it even when I took the baptism. And then I joined the Episcopal church, and I was converted to be the Episcopalian religion, but all I felt about it was, I was a member of that church.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And it suddenly dawned on me, these things. And so I decided that I was interested in finding more out about the Bible. Well, I tried to do it by myself, and it was like I was trying to understand the Greek language.

Michael Willie:

Right. The blind leading the blind --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

You're only as good as your teacher.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And so I tried to find a Bible study. And I asked several people about one, and I never got anywhere, until one day in the church, we were having a bazaar or something of the sort, and I had a table and some of the members of the church had a table. And I heard one of the ladies talking to someone about church and Bible study and all this kind of business. And so when they finished their conversation, I asked a member of the church, I said, "Where is this Bible study that you're talking about?" And she said, "Washington Bible College." And I said, "Can I join you?" And she said, "We're in a group, and I'll ask them and see if you know, they'll permit you." So she came back later and told me that, yes, I could join them. So I went out to Washington Bible College, to this adult class that was held once a week.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Now, it wasn't for any credit or anything, you know.

Michael Willie:

For your benefit.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. And so I really became very satisfied with what I was learning. And I think that has taken my mind off all the other things --

Michael Willie:

Right.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

-- and ...

Michael Willie:

It's, once again, perspective. We keep coming back to it. But it does. It puts a lot of things in perspective, right?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

All right. Now, is there anything else you -- that you can think of that you'd like to talk about? Anything else that we might have missed?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Nope.

Michael Willie:

Joe, what do you think?

Joe:

I think that -- that it still seems to -- it still continues to amaze me that she came from such a little, teeny town, background, in such a rural community, to be able to handle the things that she's handled.

Michael Willie:

That's what we were just talking about. It is. It is. I mean, I think that it truly is.

Joe:

And I think that she hasn't talked about the situations in the tents, when they were bringing the people in, and where her -- what she did and what she saw and she did and how she handled it emotionally for those times.

Michael Willie:

Right. And that's -- you know, that -- I've tried.

Joe:

I understand. I'm sure you did.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, I -- I just can't -- none of this comes back to me.

Michael Willie:

That's -- I -- that's totally understandable.

Joe:

You remember -- I mean, you remember seeing people coming in with -- you know, badly, severely wounded, because you were giving anesthesia to them weren't you?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Joe:

Okay.

Michael Willie:

And that -- you know, it really is. As long as the -- as long as you've got the -- like the -- you made it through. And that's really tough. A lot -- I mean -- you -- a lot of people did not make it through as -- I guess as well-balanced as you did. I mean, they could -- Really, could you -- could you see that situation -- could you understand people really cracking up under the pressure?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

No. I don't recall any of that.

Michael Willie:

No. But I'm saying --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- you can understand --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- if they did. Because I mean, it takes a strong -- it would have to take a strong person to be able to deal with that on a day-to-day basis. I mean -- and that's a testament to you. That's obviously -- as humble as -- as you are, that's a testament to you; that you are able to -- to really not only make it through, but to kind of rise above. It's -- I think it's a -- it's not something that you can really teach. I'll put it that way. That's a testament to you and probably your family.

Joe:

The other problem I've got, I think that what happens too is I think you have to kind of detach yourself and really get into -- to what you've been trained to do and not have your emotions interfere with the training.

Michael Willie:

I -- yeah.

Joe:

You kind of have to separate those things.

Michael Willie:

Theoretically, I understand what you're talking about.

Joe:

Yeah. I had to do that in combat. And I -- I saw guys in my unit that were, I mean, fantastic guys, that were so -- that got so worked up that one guy shot himself in the foot so he wouldn't have to go back into combat.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Joe:

That's -- that's -- and I think you have to detach yourself --

Michael Willie:

That's what I mean. I think --

Joe:

-- to perform.

Michael Willie:

I think theoretically I understand that, but I just cannot --

Joe:

You have to do it --

Michael Willie:

I've never had --

Joe:

-- emotionally.

Michael Willie:

I've never had to, so I couldn't -- And I would think you're right. You would have to do it. But every time I've talked to a nurse, I've asked them that, and they always say you just didn't. That's --

Joe:

You were trained to do it.

Michael Willie:

That's what you were trained to do it, so ... Anyway, I wanted to leave time at the end to get some pictures on tape. So I want to thank you for taking the time to come down here. Joe, I want to thank you for taking the time to bring her down.

Joe:

Sure. A pleasure, Mike.

Michael Willie:

And I truly --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, I'm sorry. I feel like I've been a --

Michael Willie:

No. I --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Because I --

Michael Willie:

I understand that.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

I really can't help this memory business.

Joe:

You -- you stop talking about that memory business or I'm going to get irritated.

Michael Willie:

It's not --

Joe:

You can't be 87 and not remember everything.

Michael Willie:

And really, the whole point -- I don't want you to feel like you're letting anybody down. I just -- that's what I'm saying. I just wanted you to try to get your memories down. The memories that you do have, I want to get them on tape. And you have phenomenal memories, and this is a great tape. You have nothing to be -- I -- you know, I was just asking you --

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Yeah.

Michael Willie:

-- trying to bring out as much as I could. We got a lot. This is a -- an absolutely wonderful interview, and you should be really proud and -- not only of this tape but of the service that you've given our country.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Well, you know, these things that I've forgotten will come back to me.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm. As soon as you get in the car?

Kathryn Mary Doody:

Not -- maybe not that soon, but they'll come back.

Michael Willie:

Mm-hmm.

Kathryn Mary Doody:

And -- But I'm sorry.

Michael Willie:

Oh, no. No. You did great. Okay. This is you accepting the Secretary's Award from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Anthony Principi.

 
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  October 26, 2011
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