The Lived Experience of Chief Nurses in Military Operations Other Than War -- M. Turner
For those who were deployed it brought an end to years of being ready. Thinking, planning and forever imagining what it might be like to bring nursing to the field. The expectations were realized by multiple realities that were exciting, frightening, and rewarding. In spite of the difficult decisions that had to be made about managing personal commitments and the painful goodbyes as families were separated, they all went willingly, some to fulfill a commitment and others to participate in an adventure.
All these years in the Air Force, I knew this was possible.
There was really no difference in who went because of our family commitments and you don't not go because reality is there and it's not convenient and I haven't done that my entire career so I'm not going to start at 22 years. So, I really was pretty well organized to go.
In the 19 1/2 years that I had been in, I had never ever ever been deployed. I didn't get deployed during Desert Storm, you know. And so, one of ... the better experiences that I can say that I've had.... To get to work with, number one, those joint forces. You had your army people right there on the base, you know. You had... A small contingent of navy, not very many, a few. For the Camp, our deputy commandant was a marine. So I mean it really was... It really was joint force. And it really was United Nations.
They did go and solicit for volunteers. So I started mentally preparing myself. I guess, I felt good in that we were going.
You'd find most of the people in my unit wanted to be where the action was because that's what we were trained to do.
So, preparing for it... I mean, I get excited by it, to be honest, because to me that was the true military. You know, you sit in a hospital your whole career but it's not... We're wearing a blue suit, basically doing the same thing that could be done on the outside, just a little bit different. But there in the field, it's the real military.
You know, they need caring people and people who want to do it. I had some wonderful nurses who just... They lived to go out in the field.