Home Before Morning, A Memoir of a Vietnam War Army Nurse
Lynda Van Devanter Buckley was an Army nurse in the Vietnam War. However, her heroism extended long beyond her time served at war. While her life's chronicles have been published, inspired a TV series, and featured in the New York Times, her legacy lives on through her incredible daughter who many of you may know as the blogger behind Still Being Molly, Molly Stillman. As we celebrate Military + Public Servants this month, we are honored to share Lynda's incredible story of advocacy and bravery.
Lynda served as an Army nurse in the Vietnam War from 1969-1970. She was stationed at the 71st Evac Hospital in Pleiku, Vietnam. In her book, Home Before Morning, Lynda describes her alarming experiences, watching so many overburdened nurses and medics desperately trying to numb the pain of the blood and casualties experiences on a daily basis. "Her experience was so alarming to her that the most pleasurable work she could later recall was her assignment to help a leper colony of Vietnamese." (NYT)
The effects of the war, and the criticism Vietnam veterans received, were so painful that she never even told her therapist she was in Vietnam. As her own personal form of therapy, and a way to own the war, without it owning her, she decided to write her book, which served as an outlet for so many who experienced the same tragedies during Vietnam.
Lynda established the Women's Project at the Vietnam Veterans of America, even testifying before congress on behalf of the over 7,400+ women Vietnam veterans. She continued to fight, until the day she died, for the rights, recognition, and benefits of women veterans.
Unfortunately, in 2002, Lynda passed away from complications from a disease she contracted because of her exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Agent Orange was often called “The Silent Killer” because so many veterans have died years after their time of service because of their exposure to the chemical.
"She was truly a pioneer and someone who just didn’t take no for an answer. She refused to let her illness define her, beat her, or control her. My mom was truly an American hero – even though if she were here today, she’d just say she was doing her job." - Lynda's daughter Molly
We are so honored to share the stories of brave Women and Men like Lynda, who have dedicated their entire lives for our country, and for the support of others who have also served. #BecausePeopleMatter