Every now and again, my mother will look at my sisters and me with a self-satisfied little smile and declare, “I grew you girls!” Technically, she’s correct. She successfully performed one of nature’s coolest party tricks and produced three other healthy human lives. Furthermore, she suffered no birth-related injuries or residual complications (except for the mild mental derangement that most parents develop). Mom has every right to feel proud of her achievements. But the odds for such happy outcomes were stacked in her favor.
When people hear about nurses serving in war, they probably picture a woman in white tending to wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Modern American military nursing, however, goes beyond providing comfort to our uniformed service people. Nurses may dress the wounds of the enemy. They may deploy to New Orleans to salvage lives in a temporary hospital. Some military nurses may get the chance to share their skills and knowledge with Iraqi women in makeshift classrooms. Others may find themselves witnessing history firsthand as Saddam Hussein’s guilty verdict is being read.