Thanks to nurses for caring

May 13, 2014 

I was proud to see the mention of National Nurses Week (May 6-12) in the paper last Wednesday. It rendered a heartfelt "thanks" to nurses for all that they do.

In observance of National Nurses Week, I submitted a financial gift to the National Vietnam Veterans Committee to honor the memory of Lt. Sharon A. Lane -- an Army nurse who was killed in Vietnam approximately nine months after I completed my combat tour there. Although I never met her, she was someone I could identify with insofar as sense of duty and professional and personal outlook.

Nursing is a challenging and rewarding career and not just everyone can succeed in that endeavor. It takes specific personal and professional attributes. It nonetheless takes dedication and perseverance in roles of healing that contribute to saving lives. Nurses provide "a caring touch that means so much," as was stated in the Belleville News-Democrat.

Many women who enter the nursing profession and serve in the military seek duty in combat zones where they know they are most needed. They take many of the same risks as male combat participants. Yet not a single one has ever been drafted and made to serve, whereas the same cannot be said for men. Women have gone out of their way and above and beyond usual expectation to be where they can make a difference, and nurses are prime examples of that.

Winston Churchill once said, "Let us go forward without fear into the future and let us dread naught when duty calls." That passage applies well to the nursing profession and nurses answer to a noble calling.

Frank B. Austin


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