Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Heroes Among Us: Jackie Hall
At the age of 22, Jackie Hall raised her right hand volunteering to serve her country in the Air Force as a psychiatric nurse. Just a few months later, she volunteered again – this time to become a flight nurse evacuating severely wounded Soldiers from the battles raging in Vietnam. For more than two years, she flew aboard a C-141 carrying soldiers wounded by grenades, gunshots, or sometimes just the horrors of war. She remembers their faces, including the “very young kid” who lost all four limbs and his eyesight during a mortar attack.
While the hours – normally 5 to 11 in flight – spent with these Soldiers were often overwhelming, she consoled herself by imagining their future. She could picture the dark haired Soldier who was hit by a grenade getting married and having children, or the young athlete learning to compete again. It kept her focused until decades later when she realized she could not speak of the war without breaking down. It was then that she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress and found help.
Maj. Hall shared her memories of Vietnam at our recent symposium, “Heroes Among Us,” and in this video posted by ABC News 4.
The FULL one-hour broadcast of the symposium is available here.