SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – From an early age, Donna Flory knew she wanted to join the US Military. Her role in the Vietnam War helped a lot of men get past their battle wounds.
“I left my house at 5 a.m. on my 18th birthday to go to Omaha to fly to Bainbridge, Maryland for my ten weeks,” Donna Flory said.
In 1963, Donna Flory made the decision to join the Navy and pursue a career as a Corps Nurse.
“It’s amazing, I always wanted to be a nurse and be in the medical field and I did work at one of the hospitals. So it wasn’t anything, you know, I wasn’t afraid of anything,” Flory said.
But, on her way to becoming a Nurse, donna had some hurdles to overcome.
“I went to Great Lakes, Illinois. That’s where the corps school is. When I got there, though, I still had to wait. Corps school runs June, July, August, September, so I had a four, five week period of time where I had to just do some general duty,” Flory explained.
And when class was in session, Donna put in the work.
“Then we had classes for four months and we did everything. We learned how to give shots, we learned how to take blood,” Flory said.
Flory had high ambitions, but life kept throwing curveballs.
“I wanted to go on a hospital ship. I couldn’t go. I had to be 21. My recruiter lied to me. He told me I would be able to go,” Flory said.
Flory would spend two of her three years of service at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital.
“They had nine wards of amputees there. That was just amputees from the Vietnam war. I spent time working in the emergency room and I also went on ambulance runs to Fort Dix, New Jersey to bring the guys back from Vietnam,” Flory said.
An experience Donna will never forget
“I knew some of them and, some of them never came back you know and that’s really sad,” Flory said.
But not all her military memories are sad.
“We got to go on the nautilus and have supper with the guys from the nautilus which was really cool. I’m sure it’s something a lot of people probably have never done,” Flory said.
Flory also participated in the Miss Armed Forces Pageant.