Jacqueline Navarra Rhoads life in vietnam

As humans, we all cope differently to situations, whether we were born with them or later develop them as adults. For the patriots of the Vietnam war as soon as they land in Vietnam, they had to transform, putting their fight, or flight and survival mechanism in full effect. Jacqueline Navarra Rhoads a young bubbly excited about life girl right out of nursing school. Wanted nothing more madly then to attend to what she had believed was her life duties, as a nurse to serve her country in the Vietnam war. Little did she knew that Vietnam had a rude awaken awaiting her. Rhoads was meet with several emotionally and physically grueling encounters, which molded her entire life. Thus, encounters led her to question her morals and religious believes. After which she became more compassionate. She also went through a growth sprue not only as an individual but as a nurse. Jacqueline’s life experiences shaped her and instilled qualities that she needed for survival in the world ahead. Upon leaving Vietnam, she had a completely different concept of life and the world around her. Something as simple as the family had a completely different meaning.

Rhoads was meet with unexpected hurdles in Vietnam, which made her question, her morals. In nursing school, she learned to treat every life equal. Her job was to treat everybody, whether it was American’s or the enemies. ‘A life was a life,’ It didn’t matter what race, creed color, religion whatever a person was. Her job as a nurse in the war also required her taking care of the ‘enemies.’ The same people who were blowing holes in American soldier’s faces, dropping grenades, setting them on fire literally and figuratively. Rhoads recalls taking care of a Vietnamese who had laid the mine, which caused some American’s life. He was bleeding to die from an amputation, but the doctors and nurses saved his life. He was brought in with Cliff, a veteran that had a lifelong in packed on her life. Cliff came in with Masttrousers an apparatus that was inflated to put pressure on the lower half of his body to allow adequate blood flow to his heart. But as soon as the bag was deflated, Cliff was dead. Cliff’s death made Rhoads so argue, she then started questioning herself. “What if” another soldier came injured, and there were no supplies to treat them because they had used it all up on the POW. Rhoads (2011), stated”I’m American, and they’re the enemy. Kill the enemy and save the American” (page 1029). Then she though back of her faith as a Christian. Thinking “God, how can you think that?” ( Rhoads, 2011, page 1028). She suddenly realized that she was losing her morals and values that she had learned.

Jacqueline had adopted to repressing her feeling to cope and also as a way to keep her from getting depressed. This, in turn, made Jacqueline lose her compassion towards people and situations. Vietnam was the first job for Jacqueline. But longer than she had arrived the Realities of the war of set in, Jacqueline had no idea that she would be faced with such brutal encounters and yet so soon. She recalled the first time she looked in a body bag she shook so badly. A Doctor had to show her what to do. Remaining her that see a dead person and gruesome things was the reality of war. But as time went by dealing with each situation got earlier, she found different ways of coping. She tried not to think of the casualties as life last; instead, she and her fellow nurses would make up names to refer to them as. They would call the burned bodies “crispy critters”. (Rhoads, 2011, page 1026). As the situation intensified, Jacqueline tried harder to repress her feeling. She mentions that she rather a body coming in without head than a gunshot wound that she could quickly identify. As time went by, she had put her emotionally and compassionate feelings aside. Jacqueline remembered a new nurse came in, and Jacqueline greeted her with a leg underneath her arm, and the new nurse fainted to the ground. But Jacqueline, in turn, couldn’t understand what was wrong with the new nurse, because such incidence had become such a norm to Jacqueline. However, Cliff, that guy Cliff bought out emotions Rhoads didn’t remember so had, holding Cliff’s hand well he died made her cry.

Going to Vietnam, Jacqueline, was proud to serve her country. Her reasons for going were unexplainable, Rhoads (2011) stated, “I don’t know what it was, I loved nursing so much,” (page 1025). It was a family tradition for her. She was following in the road of her nine uncles from her mother’s side that had served in the war before her serving. But after her experience in Vietnam Rhoads had grown as an individual as well as a nurse. She had seen and done things she had never imaged. Rhoads had developed such a strong relationship with her follow patriots of the war which made them in a family. Rhoads (2011), stated, “In Quang Tri, we were just one big family.”(2030). They could relate to each order, going back home to Albany, she no longer felt like she belonged. At one point, remember herself wanting to go back to Vietnam so that she could relate to someone with the same experience as her. She stated that Rhoads (2011) stated, “even her parents didn’t recognize me as the immature little girl who left Albion, New York.”(page 2033) Rhoads moved San Antonio and joined the reserve unit there. She then met other Vietnam veterans that she could relate to, which in turn become family.


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