Diane Carlson Evans book “Healing Wounds” is a riveting account of her military service in Vietnam with the U.S. Army Nurses Corps and her daunting, 10-year quest to create the Women’s Memorial at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.
Her journey from the farmlands of Minnesota to Vietnam, the challenges of war-time service, then returning home to a divided country and her perseverance thru the maze of organizational bureaucracies & politics in the creation of a memorial to honor the 265,000 women who served during the Vietnam era is inspiring! Women in service matter!!
Her style of writing, the heartfelt stories from her mother’s example as a nurse, the Minnesota farm life of her childhood, the give & take of a large family, the idealism to be an Army nurse in the 1960’s are so authentic. Then, the intensity of Diane’s “war stories” detailing the gritty service in Pleiku are so realistic, so moving and so relatable. They will ring true with any “In-Country” Vietnam veteran.
An example: “Rockets pounded. Officers shouted instructions diffused by the noise. Chaos laughed in the face of whatever sanity was left” describing a “mushrooming nightmare” for their medical team when a Chinook helicopter of wounded landed.
Humbling speaking, this book is in the same category as Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”.
Bill Shugarts, Vietnam Veteran (1969-1970) 23rd Infantry Division-Americal, NPS Wall Volunteer, USO Warrior & Family Center Volunteer, Families of the Wounded Fund Board Member, No One Left Behind Board Member, Military Ministry Leader, Fawn Lake Veterans Group Director