Author(s): BIEDERMANN Narelle
""Don't forget your cotton underwear, girls!" Most books that look at the involvement of Australians in the Vietnam War rarely allude to the role of nurses. But war and nursing are unequivocally linked. A total of 43 Australian Army nursing sisters were sent to Vietnam between April 1967 and November 1971, undertaking tours of up to 12 months. The nurses were assigned to a military hospital in a war zone with little advanced preparation, particularly as clinicians with exposure to trauma, critical care or theatre. The contribution of these women undoubtedly affected many soldiers in profound ways. Tears on My Pillowdescribes the experiences of nursing in the Vietnam War using the words, voices and photographs of these servicewomen. These veterans tell tales of femininity interspersed with the reality of the military environment through their stories of trauma, distress, tears and grief that went on for many years, and stories of underwear, fun and the basic things in life."