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“That was the most important thing [to learn]: They weren’t alone in feeling guilty about not saving everybody.” (Audio Interview, 17:33)

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   Nan Borg
Image of Nan Borg
Nan Borg in uniform [1990]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army Nurse Corps
Unit: 24th Evacuation Hospital; Brooke Army Medical Center; Walter Reed Army Medical Center; 121st Evacuation Hospital; Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Madigan Army Medical Center
Service Location: Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Seoul, Korea; Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Washington; Vietnam; Washington, DC; Denver, Colorado
Rank: Colonel
Place of Birth: ND
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Nan Borg was teaching nursing in Minot, North Dakota in 1961 when she decided to join the Army Reserves. A year later, she went on active duty and continued to serve until 1989. In 1964, she was assigned to an evacuation hospital in Korea, her introduction to intensive care, which became her specialty. She served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971, where she counseled junior officers, teaching them to deal with issues of death and dying.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (9 clips)
»Complete Interview  (53 min.)
»Photo Album (1 photo)
 Official Documents
 Other Materials
»View List (2 items)
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»Vietnam War: Looking Back, Part 3
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (9 items)
Joining the Army for a chance to travel and see her brother, who was serving in the Air Force in Europe; she didn't get to Europe until after she retired in 1989. (00:43) Ordered to Korea in 1964; treating civilians as well as military personnel; specializing in intensive care. (01:52) Assigned to the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Vietnam; very busy at first; dealing with junior officers who want to work 24-7; counseling them on handling patients with fatal injuries. (02:07)
Protocol for treating Vietnamese POWs; description of her hospital, which was in Quonset huts; first evacuation of a patient by helicopter out of Vietnam; he recovered and wrote the hospital staff a thank-you note. (02:27) Terms of her duty assignment; where people went for their two weeks of R&R; as war wound down, fewer patients and more down time; setting up an exchange program with Australian nurses stationed near China Beach. (01:48) Dealing as a supervisor with junior colleagues in matters of death and dying. (01:59)
Details about early months of her tour in Vietnam; about nine to ten months in, hospitals were closing and there were fewer patients; dealing with visiting reporters from Time who were looking for dying soldiers and finding none. (02:05) “Horrible” homecoming at San Francisco Airport; wanting to get out of her uniform because she was scared for her life; going to welcome a local unit back from Iraq to let them know that people appreciated what they were doing for their country. (02:05) 1981 was a good year: She got a big promotion to colonel, was chosen Army Nurse of the Year and published a book she had edited. (03:40)
 Other Materials (2 items)
Madigan Mountaineer "Former 91c director returns to MAMC as chief of Nursing" July 18, 1985 Madigan Mountaineer "Chief of Nursing calls it a career." July 31, 1989 
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  October 26, 2011
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