The Women

by Kristin Hannah | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1035005670 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Toni-Louisa of Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on 3/24/2024
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Journal Entry 1 by Toni-Louisa from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Sunday, March 24, 2024
When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam,​ twenty year old nursing student, Frances (Frankie) McGrath impulsively joins the Army Nurses Corps and follows him.

Overwhelmed by the chaos and destruction of war, Frankie learns quickly how to be a nurse in a war zone, undertaking two tours of duty but rather than returning home a hero, Frankie and her fellow nurses are treated like pariahs, spat at and called baby killers.

In a changed America, these traumatised women struggle to transition to ordinary life, in a place where no one wants to acknowledge what the​y have been through.

​"I'm here to march."
"Sorry, lady. This march is for vets. We're trying to make a statement. Hopefully that asshole in the White House will listen to us and stop lying to the country."
"I'm a veteran," she said.
"Of Vietnam" he said impatiently, looking ahead.
"I was there."
"There weren't women in Nam."
The chanting grew louder. "Stop the war! Bring them home."
"If you didn't meet someone like me, you were lucky. It means — "
"Just move to the side, ma'am. This is for the men who were fighting. In combat, you know?

​And while help is available for the men who saw combat, no help is available to the women who cared for them and got them home to their families.

​"I can't seem to get a handle on my emotions since I got back. I'm always either banshee-angry or bursting into tears. My dad is so ashamed, he said I went to Florence."
She said it all in a rush and felt exhausted afterward.
"Are you menstruating now?"
Frankie took a moment to process that.
"I tell you that I'm having trouble after being in Vietnam, and that's your question?"
"You were in Vietnam? There were no women in Vietnam, dear. Do you have thoughts of hurting yourself? Hurting others?"
Frankie got slowly to her feet. It felt nearly impossible to do so.
"I'm here for veterans."
"I am a veteran."
"In combat?"
"Well. No. But — "
"See? So, you'll be fine. Trust me. Go home. Go out with friends. Fall in love again. You're young. Just forget about Vietnam."

In reality, it is believed 10,000 American military women were stationed in Vietnam during the war. mostly as nurses but women also served as physicians, medical personnel, in air traffic control​ and military intelligence, while civilian women also served as news correspondents, workers for the Red Cross​ and other humanitarian organisations.

Telling the story of the many who went to Vietnam but were later forgotten and overlooked, The Women is a compelling and heartbreaking read.

Journal Entry 2 by Toni-Louisa at Somewhere in Chester in Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Saturday, April 13, 2024

Released 1 mo ago (4/14/2024 UTC) at Somewhere in Chester in Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom

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