Tuesday, March 31, 2020

"When I Die I'm Going to Heaven 'Cause I've Spent My Time in Hell: A Memoir of My Year As An Army Nurse in Vietnam" - Barbara Kautz

This was a quick read on a quiet, chilly Saturday afternoon. Written by a graduate of the Walter Reed nursing program, this is the story of Barbara Kautz's year serving as an army nurse in Vietnam.

The book is essentially a series of stories about Kautz's time in Vietnam, starting right about the time of her nursing graduation and moving through her entire year. The reflections range from significant and memorable cases she encountered to stories about the relationships she formed there to some experiences that reflected upon the potential for sexual harassment and assault.

The book is largely written in the first-person and Kautz's detail recollection is strong. While certain stories don't particularly connect, others are incredibly riveting. The book's Kindle version, which I read, was hindered by sub-par editing (for a professionally published book) with quite a few typographical errors, missing words, and grammatical concerns that should have been caught and addressed over a year since the book's initial release.

It would be hard to quibble with the book's subject matter. It's a valuable book and resource and if you're into military history, particularly women's history, this is a tremendous book to read.

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