Minnesota's Women Vietnam Veterans Oral History Project: Interview with Edythe "Edy" D. Thompson Johnson

Transcript (PDF)


Titles Minnesota's Women Vietnam Veterans Oral History Project: Interview with Edythe "Edy" D. Thompson Johnson
Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Edythe "Edy" D. Thompson Johnson was born in Wisconsin and attended Lutheran Deaconess College Hospital School of Nursing where she obtained her nursing diploma. She served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in Vietnam. She also served in the Reserves and retired from the Army with the rank of Colonel. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Family; childhood; education; patriotism and importance of service to the country; graduating from high school and pursuing her lifelong dream to become a nurse; obtaining a nursing diploma from Lutheran Deaconess College Hospital School of Nursing; being cognizant of the Civil Rights Movement and political issues; Communism; working in obstetrics (OB); President John F. Kennedy's assassination; studying journalism; importance of religion; factors that led her to join the Army Nurse Corps; training at Fort Sam Houston; family reaction to her decision to join the Army Nurse Corps; working at Letterman Hospital in San Francisco; reaction to Vietnam orders; gender discrimination; diversity in basic training; identity as a nurse; the anti-war movement; thoughts on the politics of the war; going to Vietnam; hearing about the Tet Offensive; daily life in the evacuation hospital; memorable patients; interactions with other staff members; leisure activities; dating; contact with the Vietnamese; being educated about Vietnamese culture; serving as a surrogate mother or sister to soldiers; difference between civilian nursing and nursing in a combat zone; safety and stresses; being head nurse; homecoming; emotional repercussions of war; staying in the Army Reserves; returning to Minnesota and working in OB and as a night supervisor at the hospital where she trained; working for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL); the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; joining the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA); getting married; importance of the Vietnam Women's Memorial; post-war adjustments; going back to Vietnam as a civilian and working with orphans; the role Vietnam had in her life.
Quantity 4 hours sound cassette
75 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 210 minutes length
Creation Interviewer: Heikkila, Kim
Interviewee: Johnson, Edythe D.
Made in: Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 06/07/2005
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 113 (Library Call Number)
AV2007.38.9 (Accession Number)
More Info MNHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota's Women Vietnam Veterans Oral History Project'


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User Comments

  • Edythe D (Thompson) Johnson on February 1, 2017 08:59:08 PM
    Corrections to narrative, above: not Deaconess College - it was Lutheran Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing (3-year diploma program). not "enlistment," as we were offered and accepted a commission as an officer in the Army Nurse Corps. Rather than "deciding" to pursue nursing, I followed my life long dream and entered nursing school. Returning to Minnesota, rather than "coming" to, and I worked in OB before joining the ANC; upon return from active duty I worked both OB and night supervisor at my former training hospital.

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