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Military Nurses: VA's Shabby Treatment of Forgotten AngelsDr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician, Toxicologist and Pharmacologist. He is an expert in medical marijuana treatment.
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - Apparently it has just come to light that the treatment of Women Veterans is even worse than the treatment of male vets if that is possible. There are 253 thousand women veterans seeking medical care and they have many of the same problems as men (no smart ass remarks are acceptable here).
The Department of Veteran's Affairs opposes an increase in funding for women veterans. This situation has been like this for years even going back to World War One.
At the present time there are 1.7 million women veterans and the number seeking care, 253,000, is expected to double.
180,000 have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. We see in television news programs seriously wounded women vets and also learn about dead ones; many today are facing the same battle hazards as men. The women's injuries, deaths and PTSD should be no surprise.
In World War One the U.S. Army had about 20,000 nurses. When that war was over they were mostly ignored. By 1935 there were only 600 RN's in the Army. The propaganda at that time was that "women of good character" did not become (Army) nurses and it was a suspect "profession".
By June 1940 there were only 942 Army nurses but by June '43 there were 40,000 but they had to be single with no children. At the height of World War Two, there were about 60,000 with half in battle zones with 5,500 on Italy.
During one month in Anzio beachhead there were 19,000 casualties and the Germans even bombed hospitals where 4 nurses got Silver Stars for staying with their patients during bombings. Army nurses landed shortly after H-Hour landings in all invasions. Two of their ships were bombed and sunk.
Some nurses got six or more battle stars from all of the African and European battle zones.
The casualties and decorations of these nurses require publicity. Sixteen nurses were killed from battle action. Two hundred more were killed from accidents or illness.
The decorations of the nurses are impressive. I have mentioned four Silver Stars. In addition there were also Distinguished Service Medals, Distinguished Flying Crosses, Soldiers Medal, Bronze Stars, (lots of them) Air Medals, Legion of Merit, and many Purple Hearts.
Many of the first nurses were in for three and a half years. Many turned gray and many lost as much as 25 pounds during their service.
One of the worst features of the Army was the rejection by the Army of African-American nurses. There were 8,000 nurses in the states, and the Army had about 1.5 million African-Americans. In 1941 the Army accepted 56 "colored" nurses eventually raised to 160. At the end of the war there were 500. They were to take care of only "colored" troops.
66 nurses were captured by the Japanese and were prisoners for three and a half years.
The denial of medical care of women vets is beyond comprehension. One million servicemen were wounded in WWII and many were taken care of by Army nurses. It was those men who named them "Battlefield Angels!!" Ask those guys if the nurses and all other women should be given care by the Veterans Administration.
As a physician, I am almost embarrassed in writing this.
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More information on the history of Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of Phil Leveque about his experiences in WWII.
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier.
If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.
Watch for more streaming video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King and Dr. Phil Leveque.
Click on this link for other articles and video segments about PTSD and medical marijuana on Salem-News.com: Dr. Leveque INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES
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