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Minnesota's Women Vietnam Veterans Oral History Project: Interview with Valerie Buchan
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Valerie Buchan was born in Minnesota and obtained a nursing diploma from Hamline University. She worked as a nurse for several years before deciding to enlist in the U.S. Army. She served in Japan before going to Vietnam. Upon returning to the United States, she worked at the University of Minnesota and then became involved in the Reserves in Fort Snelling. She retired from the Army with the rank of Colonel. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Family; childhood; wanting to be a nurse; education; attending Hamline University for nursing; having a strong family tradition of military service; a typical day in nursing school; working as a nurse for a church camp and other nursing jobs; gender roles; Communism and the Cold War; changing political views over time; learning for the first time about Vietnam and hearing about the Domino Theory; deciding to join the Army Nurse Corps; family reaction to enlistment; negative images of military women; basic training at Fort Sam Houston; diversity of women at Fort Sam Houston; going to Japan; working in the surgical and urology wards; responding to patient needs; emotional and physical trauma faced by soldiers; volunteering to go to Vietnam after two years of service in Japan; working at an evacuation hospital in the emergency room; dealing with horrific injuries; frustration with the war; relationship among hospital staff; balancing roles as a nurse and an American; impressions of Vietnamese people; dangers of being in a war zone; leisure activities; being Captain and head nurse; going to Australia for rest and recuperation; the Anti-War Movement in America; gender discrimination; working at the University of Minnesota and then the Fort Snelling Reserves; involvement in the construction of the war memorials; long-term effects of Vietnam; advice to current soldiers.
3 hours sound cassette
66 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
165 minutes length
Interviewer: Heikkila, Kim
Interviewee: Buchan, Valerie
Made in: Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 113 (Library Call Number)
AV2007.38.6 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota's Women Vietnam Veterans Oral History Project'