Nancy Jean Lee, She was a Navy Veteran of the Vietnam War.
U.S. Navy Nurse Corps
Nancy Jean Lee - Obituary
Nancy Jean Lee, 58, of Reading, Pa.,
formerly of Montevideo, died Wednesday at Reading Hospital.
The service will be at 7 p.m. Sunday at Berks Bible Church in Shillington, Pa. There will be a private burial.
Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials are preferred to Disabled American Veterans or the National MS Society. Arrangements are with Klee Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Shillington, Pa.
She was born May 14, 1948, in Montevideo to Melvin and Edith (Carlson) Lee. The family moved to Minneapolis in 1961. She graduated from Minneapolis North High School and attended nursing school.
She was a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War.
She was a member of Berks Bible Church and served as a former church secretary, taught the children's choir and helped teach Sunday school. She was volunteer for the MS Society.
She is survived by her daughter: Dawn (and James) Gilbert Sr. of Shillington, Pa.; three grandchildren; her parents of Litchfield; and four siblings: James Lee of Lakeville, Carol McWilliams of Minneapolis, Doris Snyder of Fredericksburg, Va., and Elaine Julin of Brooklyn Park.
Nancy Lee Guest Book
"Well Nancy ,Iwill miss you and i know we always did agree on every thing,but you always told me what you thought.I thought you had a lot guts to the hospital and had what you had done.But it looks..." - James Gilbert
"Nancy, I keep saying that I would write to you but never got around to it. You always sent me Christmas cards were ever I lived.You are the only one I ever keep in contact with from our Navy days......" - Marguerite Hoggard Ballard
Nancy J. Lee
Passed Away 10/25/2006
Last Known Residence
Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania
May 14, 1948
Vietnam Women's Memorial
Vietnam Southeast Asia
Over 58,000 Americans killed, 200,000 wounded and Women Were There!
Women served in Vietnam in many support staff assignments, in hospitals, crewed on medical evacuation flights, with MASH Units, hospital ships, operations groups, information offices, service clubs, headquarters offices, and numerous other clerical, medical, intelligence and personnel positions. There were women officers and enisted women; there were youngsters in their early twenties with barely two years in service and career women over forty. Women suffered the same hardships as the men in many cases and were often in the line of fire from rockets and mortars, particularly during the Tet offensive with the Viet Cong attacks on Saigon.
Almost ten thousand women were there.
Women were awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, Commendation Medals, and Unit Citations. And yes there were casualties.
Like many of the men going over to Vietnam to serve their country, young women from all over the nation volunteered to serve as nurses in the hospitals and medical facilities in South Vietnam. These women volunteered for a variety of reasons: to serve their country, to help the service men who were wounded, to receive training and an education, to further their military careers, to prove themselves or just to have an adventure. The nurses served in the hospital ships of the Navy, the airlift helicopters and airplanes of the Air Force and the hospitals and field hospitals of the Army. They arrived in Vietnam with various levels of nursing experience, from newcomers to the field with barley six months of Nursing under their belts to experienced veterans of twenty plus years. Usually the more confident and experienced the nurse, the better they were able to cope with the stress and the sheer number of casualties they treated on a daily basis.
The Vietnam War was the first major conflict to use the helicopter to transport wounded quickly to medical facilities; sometimes a man would be in the hospital receiving medical care barely half an hour after he had been wounded. This new medevac system saved the lives of thousands of men who in previous conflicts would have died in the battlefield waiting for medical assistance. Because of this phenomenon, Vietnam nurses were faced with more patients and more severely wounded men than they had seen in previous conflicts. These nurses were required to make quick decisions on who was treated first and what type of treatment they would receive; a much more autonomous state than nursing in the states where they were expected to follow a doctor’s orders and nothing more.
Combat nurses worked twelve hour shifts six days a week and when a mass casualty incident occurred, like a major battle, those twelve hour shifts could easily turn into twenty-four to thirty-six hour shifts. Nurses also volunteered their time in the communities around them, often going to the local orphanages or hospitals to offer the civilians their medical services or to teach classes on basic hygiene, first aid or even English. In addition, nurses had to deal with numerous emotions: stress from the amount of patients they had to serve, anger at seeing young men so horribly wounded and guilt at not being able to save all of the wounded men or make them whole again.
Despite the long hours and sometimes horrifying wounds these women had to face, many nurses found their service rewarding. They were able to serve their country and save and comfort the wounded men in their facilities. During the Vietnam War 98% of the men who were wounded and made it to the hospital survived. Nurses witnessed some truly miraculous events such as men recovering from their wounds or acts of true selflessness that are common during combat situations, and many nurses made close friends with their fellow coworkers some of whom still keep in contact into the present day.
WOMEN IN THE U.S. NAVY, VIETNAM
Members of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps also played an important role in the conflict beginning in 1963. Five Navy nurses were awarded the Purple Heart after they were injured in a Viet Cong bombing of an officers’ billets in downtown Saigon on Christmas Eve 1964; they became the first female members of the U.S. Armed Forces to receive that award in the Vietnam War. Apart from nurses, only nine Navy women–all officers–served in Vietnam, including Lieutenant Elizabeth G. Wylie, who worked in the Command Information Center on the staff of the Commander of Naval Forces in Saigon beginning in June 1967; and Commander Elizabeth Barrett, who in November 1972 became the first female naval line officer to hold command in a combat zone.
Nancy Jean Lee
She was a Navy Veteran of the Vietnam War.
Branch of Service:
Years of Service:
1966 to 1968
Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, operated by the Veterans' Administration, opened on Sept. 20, 1982. The cemetery, adjacent to Fort Indiantown Gap, consists of 676 acres, is about one-third of a mile wide and about three miles long.
Burial / Funeral
Indiantown Gap National Cemetery Section MA Site 309, Rr2, Box 484 - Indiantown Gap Road, Annville, Pa
Indiantown Gap National Cemetery
WOMEN'S VIETNAM EXPERIENCES...
...the rest of the story
No telling of the Vietnam War would be complete without including the experiences of those women who served there or had husbands, son's or brothers there. I have added this special section to allow for those experiences to be shared. Women got little credit and no glory for having provided a service to their country - but real Nam veterans know and appreciated their services and support!
The unsung angels of the Vietnam War!
Ginny and Susan
It might have been merely one photograph
in an album of long ago memories
had you not died
Instead it became the last image etched in Kodachrome
of a life cut short
for a friend who still mourns your loss
No one could know
as you stood in that Honolulu airport
holding the baby of a stranger
(because you were going to Vietnam for a year
and might not get to hold a baby)
that in a few short weeks you would be killed,
ironically stabbed to death
by one of the soldiers you had come to help
Many years after the shutter snapped shut
that photo forged a treasured bond
between your family who had never seen it
and your friend who was finally able to give it to them
Even in death you have helped to heal the living
Thank you for posing
Emily Strange in Vietnam riding in the back of an Army truck.
I flew to desolate fire bases
filled with the tools of war
and the men who used them
it was my job to perform the miracle
of making the war disappear
for boys who had been trained to kill
it was my mission to raise the morale
of children who had grown old too soon
watching friends die
it was my calling
to take away fear and replace it with hope
to return sanity to a world gone insane
I was the mistress of illusion
as I pulled smiles from the dust and heat
the magical genie of "back-in-the-world"
as I created laughter in the mud
but when the show was over
I crawled back into my bottle
and pulled the cork in tightly behind me
"Please Forgive Me"
PLEASE FORGIVE ME
for not remembering your name
i know it is here somewhere on the West Wall
probably around panel 20
i remember your face, your smile
as you showed me the picture of your wife and new baby
i remember how they teased the new papasan
as you danced around that desolate firebase laughing
i remember walking into ICU
as they unwrapped the gory stump that was your leg
and i remember my sorrow when the nurse whispered,
"expectant - he was already in a body bag
when the medic noticed slight breathing"
PLEASE FORGIVE ME
for not staying
i wanted to hold your hand and tell you
to hang in there for your wife and new baby
but the nurses and doctors surrounded you
trying to keep you alive
and i would have only been in the way
so i told the nurse i would check on you later
PLEASE FORGIVE ME
for not returning
i just did not want to know
that another wife would receive that knock on the door
confirming her worst fears
i couldn't bear to know that another child
would grow up having never known his Father
for i had an early take off the next morning
to fly to another desolate firebase
to laugh and dance with other soldiers
before they too were killed
PLEASE FORGIVE ME
For a Mother
who is receiving
the folded Flag
from her son's casket,
is a heartbreaking oxymoron
Nurse Sharon Lane Paid the Highest Price in Vietnam. Click the photo for more Info.
First Lieutenant Sharon Ann Lane
“See you sooner”
Just four days before being mortally wounded by enemy fire while working in the 312th Evacuation Hospital in Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam, 1LT Sharon Ann Lane signed a letter to her parents in her characteristically upbeat manner, “See you sooner.”
Writing to them about the heat, the GIs in her care, and the movie she missed the night before, Lane assured her parents that things were “still very quiet around here…haven’t gotten mortared in a couple of weeks now.” Ironically, within days of writing her parents, she was killed in a rocket attack upon the hospital where she was stationed.
Sharon Ann Lane was born 7 July 1943 in Zanesville, Ohio. Two years later the Lane family moved to Canton, where Sharon spent the remainder of her childhood. She graduated from Canton South High School in June 1961 and decided to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse by attending the Aultman Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated on 25 April 1965 and worked at a local hospital for two years before trying her hand in the business world. She made it through three quarters at the Canton Business College before deciding to join the U.S. Army Nurse Corps Reserve on 18 April 1968.
Training for 2LT Lane began on 5 May 1968 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. She graduated on 14 June 1968, and just three days later reported for duty at the Army’s Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Her first assignment was with three tuberculosis wards, but after receiving a promotion to first lieutenant, she was placed in the Cardiac Division’s Intensive Care Unit and Recovery Room. She worked in the ICU until 24 April 1969, when she reported to Travis Air Force Base, California, with orders sending her to Vietnam.
1LT Lane arrived at the 312th Evacuation Hospital at Chu Lai on 29 April. She was originally assigned to the Intensive Care Unit, but a few days later was reassigned to the Vietnamese Ward.
Nursing the Vietnamese in Ward 4 was often physically and emotionally challenging, yet Lane repeatedly declined transfers to another ward. She worked five days a week, twelve hours a day in Ward 4, and spent her off-duty time taking care of the most critically injured American soldiers in the Surgical ICU. She thrived despite the demanding schedule, and was adored and respected by co-workers and patients alike.
On the morning of 8 June 1969, the 312th Evacuation Hospital was struck by a salvo of 122mm rockets fired by the Viet Cong. One rocket struck between Wards 4A and 4B, killing two people and wounding another twenty-seven. Among the dead was 1LT Lane, who died instantly of fragmentation wounds to the chest. She was one month shy of her twenty-sixth birthday.
Though one of eight American military nurses who died while serving in Vietnam, Sharon Lane was the only American nurse killed as a direct result of hostile fire. A memorial service was held in Chu Lai 10 June 1969 and a Catholic mass followed the next day. Lane was buried with full military honors at Sunset Hills Burial Park in her hometown of Canton, Ohio.
For her service in Vietnam, 1LT Sharon Ann Lane was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star with “V” device, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the National Order of Vietnam Medal, and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross (with Palm).
In the years that followed her death, various individuals and organizations honored Lane in a variety of ways. On 11 November 1969, the Fitzsimons Hospital named its recovery room the Lane Recovery Suite and put a plaque and a picture on display. In that same year, the Daughters of the American Revolution named her Outstanding Nurse of the Year, and posthumously awarded her the Anita Newcomb McGee medal in 1970. In 1973 a statue of Lane was dedicated in front of Aultman Hospital, and in 1986, the Hospital opened the Sharon Lane Woman’s Center in its front lobby. The Canton Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America officially changed its name to the Sharon Lane Chapter #199, and roads in Denver, Colorado, and at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, have been named in her honor. Despite the fact that over thirty years have passed since her death, 1LT Sharon Ann Lane remains an important symbol representing the sacrifices and service of the thousands of American women who served in the Vietnam War.
Click the photo for more Info.
Sharon Lane, the All-American Girl
She came to Vietnam not to fight or warrior to be but to serve a higher purpose across the sea.
She knew the hurt, the pain, the dying Sharon came to heal them and to stop the crying.
With purpose in her steps she made her rounds To give hope to soldier and to turn his frown upside down.
Whether it be the boy from back home or the Viet Cong She did her job with care--she knew this is where she belonged.
She was cut down in the middle of the night A piece of flying metal took her life.
She died alone So far from home.
Her life was taken from us Sharon's presence we still miss.
Let us never forget that freedom has a cost Sharon became our hero-our hearts are empty by her loss.
Sharon was the All-American girl She was perfection in an imperfect world.
Remembered by "Doc" Kerry Pardue, a field medic in Vietnam
ending to the wounded in Vietnam, a role Sharon Lane enjoyed for only a short period of time before she was killed. (U.S. Army photo)
A scene from a hospital in Vietnam, similar to the one where Sharon Lane, of Canton, was killed. (U.S. Army photo)
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