Paula here. I have three lesbian ebooks on Amazon.com and I am searching for reviews. They have been selling well, but not everyone writes a review. The number of free copies are limited as I have a contract with Amazon.com
Here’s my offer. I am blogging the first three chapters of Lt. Dee: Army Nurse, Vietnam If you are willing to write a review, please just enter your email under comments. I will then send you the remaining chapters – free of any charge.
Lt. Dee: Army Nurse, Vietnam.
The Vietnam War took 58,000 young men’s lives and eight nurses. The average age for nurses was 23 years of age, just four years older than the average grunt or soldier. Meet Lt. Dee. a skilled Army operating nurse, who knew up on an Amish farm in Pennyslvania. In the hell of war, Dee discovers a seductive Air Force Captain named Skip. If their affair is discovered a dishonorable discharge awaits them.
See and hear the war through Dee’s eyes, as she strives to heal and comfort the wounded.
DEE: ARMY NURSE, VIETNAM
Book 2: Michigan Bound Lesbian Series
By Paula Key
War does not determine who is right –
Only who is left.
TAN SONAT AIR BASE, VIETNAM-1968
It was early afternoon when the wheels of the huge U.S cargo plane connected with the tarmac. Through the swirling red dust and blazing sun, eyes gazed wonderingly at their first sighting of Vietnam. Several thuds later, the plane taxied past army barracks and plane hangars. Large patches of red mud covered the roofs and sandbags protected buildings against enemy fire. Inside the plane, the heat was overwhelming. Everyone waited desperately for the doors to open.
Lieutenant Dee stood and waited for the staircase to be secured. She tried to adjust her breathing to the intense heat. She faintly heard the new recruit, Scarlazzi, talking about beaches, babes, boobs and booze.
Dee knew that any mixing of babes and boobs for her in Vietnam would lead directly to a court martial for immoral conduct. Dee had picked up many skills during her nursing training; not only was she a highly acclaimed nurse, but she had also honed her skill at picking out the women in her class who would welcome discreet relationships, and a bit of naughty fun.
Dee realized that the pilot had asked her to descend. With each step, unfamiliar sights, deafening sounds and pungent smells assaulted her senses. Her nylons stuck to her skin and she measured each step, with one hand holding her army skirt from blowing up and exposing her thighs.
The base was a beehive of non-stop motion – trucks, jeeps, ambulances, buses and fire trucks were busily loading and unloading. Waiting for transportation, Dee let her eyes take in all the new surroundings. High wire fences surrounded the entire perimeter of the base.
Lieutenant Sue Montgomery spoke with a soft southern drawl.
“What a nauseating smell!”
“They burn the shit from the latrines!” Scarlazzi added. He apparently had little respect for Sue, an officer, or perhaps just not for a black female officer.
Sue stared at him. “Scarlazzi, the word to use is excrement.”
Scarlazzi glared back. “You learn that big word at some Negro college, Lieutenant?”
The grinning lad’s intention was both to insult and to get a laugh.
Sue turned to her fellow nurses.
“He’s all mine when he comes in with his balls blown off!”
The men laughed and Scarlazzi grimaced.
Lieutenant Julie Wong interjected.
“It’s mostly the smell of burning kerosene and jet fuel.” She pointed to an adjacent runway. “Those planes screeching to a halt are F-14 fighters, and those heavy planes are B-52 bombers.”
“Where’s this knowledge coming from?” Sue teased, “Dating a pilot?”
“I wish!” Julie sighed. “My little brother builds model planes.”
This conversation was interrupted by the bellowing voice of Scarlazzi.
“Here comes the Welcome Wagon! Lots of cold beer!”
The nurses exchanged weary glances. Scarlazzi had been a royal pain for most of the twenty-hour flight. He had been loud and hyperactive. Everyone had been forced to listen to his stories of gang fights in the Bronx where his bravery and fighting skills had made him a man to be feared. Naturally, he claimed that he would take care of his mates in Nam.
Dee had contrasted Scarlazzi’s background to her own growing up on an Amish farm in Pennsylvania. Her brother Isaiah was nineteen years old, the same age as Scarlazzi. He had been exempted from the draft as a 2-C Registrant, deferred because of his agricultural occupation. He was the only son in a family of five daughters. Dee, on the other hand, defied her pacifist Amish family. She felt compelled to serve as a nurse in Vietnam. At twenty-one years of age, she felt her youth and skills would serve her country well.
As the convoy of jeeps approached, Scarlazzi made whooping noises. Dee squinted through the shimmering hot haze while sweat trickled down her face and neck. As an automatic response, all the nurses adjusted collars and cuffs on their Class A Officer’s uniform. They wanted to have their green tunics and tight skirts looking somewhat respectable after the long flight.
Julie had a run in her nylons while Lt. Sue stuck her aching foot back into her high heels. The nurses’ uniforms served to remind them and others around them that they were ladies, and officers. Training for Vietnam had instilled in the nurses the expectation that they would be calm and emotionless when dealing with wounded soldiers.
“Bring on those jeeps!” Scarlazzi gave a ‘thumbs up’ sign.
The first jeep stopped for the nurses. The drivers saluted the officers.
“Welcome to Saigon, Lieutenants. Glad to see new blood.”
The three nurses sat in the lead jeep as it made its way towards a series of white bricked and green corrugated metal buildings. The noise, smell and heat forced Dee to close her eyes. She upbraided herself for her lack of composure, and reassured herself with positive thoughts. ’You are a first class nurse. You have a mission to heal. You are a commissioned officer. You’ll do a great job!’
In the distance, through shimmering heat, a series of flatbed trucks were heading in their direction. The escorting jeep stopped and the driver somberly asked the women to step out. The reason for this soon became apparent as about fifty silver coffins rolled by. Everyone stood to attention and saluted. They watched as the convoy headed towards the same C-130 cargo plane that had just brought them to Vietnam.
Scarlazzi spoke, “My dad and grandpa served in two wars. Not a scratch. I figure it’s a genetic thing!”
The nurses’ driver started the jeep again. In explanation, he said.
“Those caskets will be hidden in the belly of the C-130 plane before the wounded arrive. The plane will be refitted. Poles will be placed down its centre and brackets attached to hold litters. But I suppose, as nurses, you know these things.”
Dee spoke. ”Do you know where the plane is headed?”
“No Ma’am. But it will be a five hour flight to specialty hospitals in either Japan or the Philippines.”
“What now? The driver pointed to a Military Police vehicle headed towards them.
“Shit, I’ve been arrested before I can get off one shot!”
“Shut the fuck up, Scarlazzi!” sounded a soft voice from the jeep.
The M.P driver issued an order to Dee’s driver.
“Soldier, I want these three nurses transferred to this jeep.”
But, Corporal, I have orders to put them on a bus for Long Binh.”
“New orders. Body bags arriving and the docs are too busy to establish cause of death. The Colonel’s given the job to the nurses. We’ve got to hurry; the wounded will be coming in after the dead. Can’t have them see their fallen comrades.”
The nurses transferred jeeps. Looking directly at the nurses, the sergeant admitted, “It may be difficult to establish cause of death. Just tag the boys as death by a bullet wound to some part of the body. It will be shock and loss of blood that kills most of them, but you know that as nurses. You’ll do a good job.”
A medic with the rank of Sergeant met the jeep minutes later and pointed to a door. He saluted and identified himself: “Sergeant Cohen.”
Then he continued, “The docs have asked me to assist you in this emergency situation. In that room, you will find fatigues, vests, helmets and boots. After you have changed, please meet me at the exit door by the helipad.”
“Oh God, I can hear choppers.” Sue Montgomery whispered as the women scrambled into their working clothes. ”Dear Lord, let us do a good job.” Then less prayerfully she snarled, “Damn it, these are men’s boots!”
The nurses followed the Sergeant to observe incoming choppers. Soldiers and medics stood by to receive the body bags. Once unloaded, they were placed respectfully on trollies and wheeled towards the hospital.
Sgt. Cohen instructed, “Just follow after the last soldier is unloaded. They’re headed for the holding morgue. It may be difficult to establish cause of death. Just tag the boys as death by a bullet wound to some part of the body. It will be shock and loss of blood that kills many of them, but you know that as nurses.”
Dee shot a nervous glance at her colleagues.
The Sergeant continued. “We usually do the loading of the fallen at midnight. It’s easier that way, for the living. But, we’re overwhelmed by the number of bodies and we have to do some of the loading now.”
The mortuary had numerous steel tables. The three nurses stared at the first four body bags.
“It will go quickly,” said Cohen. “A soldier will unzip the bag for you. Once you identify cause of death, write it on the tag. The soldier will then close up the bag and remove it. You move on to the next fallen hero. We owe it to their families to do this type of duty.”
Dee breathed in deeply as the first bag was unzipped. She gasped and instantly moved the back of her hand to cover her nose. The smell was overpowering, but the sight of maggots crawling out of a skull brought instant numbness. She stared, unable to move. This was the tropics and dead bodies decomposed rapidly.
Dee calmed her mind and spoke aloud as she wrote, ‘Gun shot wound to left temple’. Sergeant Cohen nodded, his eyes approving of her diagnosis.
“When I was out with the platoons, I saw just about every wound imaginable. Now, on my second tour, I’ve been assigned to base. It’s not what I want, but I have to serve.”
It was Dee’s turn to nod and say, “Thank you for your help.”
Dee had just turned towards the second bag when she saw Sue Montgomery vomit.
“Jesus, have mercy,” Sue prayed as she raised her head to keep working.
The second bag was unzipped for Dee.
A pair of light blue eyes stared upwards. Cohen reached over and closed the soldier’s eyes by placing two coins on them. Dee focused on the semi-congealed blood that had spread all over the soldier’s fatigues. In the place where a heart would normally beat, there was simply a hole and a few ribs. She stumbled for words.
Aloud she said, “Cause of death…?” She momentarily froze.
Sergeant Cohen whispered, “Heart trauma, Ma’am.”
“Thank you, Sergeant Cohen.”
This ordeal continued on for about twenty minutes but once completed, Sergeant Cohen escorted the nurses to the cafeteria.
“Whoever would want food after that?” Julie wondered aloud.
A smiling ‘Donut Dolly’ placed cold drinks, a plate of sandwiches, and donuts on the table. She looked no older than a high school senior. Like their predecessors in other wars, these women were volunteers. In Vietnam, they entertained the troops, put on craft workshops, and wrote letters home for wounded soldiers. It was in World War II that they received the nickname, ‘Donut Dolly,’ because nearly every coffee was served with a donut.
Lieutenant Wong continued, “What if one of those dead soldiers had been someone we knew?”
No one answered.
Dee turned to Susan.
“Sue, what did you see? You have the constitution of an ox!”
“Sweet Jesus, the child in that bag was burnt to a crisp. Must have been hit by flamethrowers or napalm. I prayed, I vomited, but then I wrote, ‘Died from multiple wounds.’ What else could I have written?”
“Nothing,” said Dee, and when she placed a hand on Sue’s shoulder, she felt the trembling.
Julie lowered her voice, “Sergeant Cohen is coming back. What’s next?”
He saluted them.” Ladies, please follow me for Casualty Staging.”
He led them to a waiting room and they looked out of a reinforced window onto the runway.
“Would you like me to explain our Casualty Staging at Tan Sonat?
Sue spoke up. “Yes, Sergeant, please go over it for us.”
“Yes. Ma’am. Well, as you know the Air Force shares this base with the Army, but when it comes to Casualty Staging, then the operation comes under the command of the Air Force.”
The nurses nodded.
“The same transport plane that you recently arrived in now has been loaded with the fallen soldiers you saw go by on the flatbeds. They will be in the belly of the plane so that the wounded do not see them.
Soon, you will be meeting the newly wounded. You will greet them, comfort them and see that they are put safely on board the waiting ambulances. They will then be driven to the very same C-130 transport plane. Your job will be to assist the Air Force nurses who will fly with them. Are there any further questions?”
The choppers and one Air Force plane were visible in the distance and becoming louder by the second. They followed the medic towards a small landing strip. Once again, the heat and smell hit the women like a brick wall
Sgt. Cohen paused and explained, “The Captain-in-Charge is Air Force. I know there’s friendly competition between the Army and the Air Force, so let’s hold our own. That is, anything goes, short of insubordination, of course. Remember, she pulls rank!”
The nurses laughed, happy to ease the tension for a few moments. What sights would the next duty bring, they wondered, as they moved forward?
Sue and Julie watched the medic engage Dee in conversation. Officers and enlisted men were ordered not to date one another. The women dropped back a few paces. When Dee looked behind her, she smiled to see her companions giving her the ‘thumbs up’ sign. They were acknowledging her power to attract men- all men!
Shielding her eyes from the glaring sun, Dee recognized the outline of unarmed Huey Evac helicopters. Hovering above them, gunners in armed Cobra choppers scanned the horizon for enemy attacks on the vulnerable Hueys carrying the wounded.
“Lieutenants!” a voice called, and Dee turned towards a surgeon in scrubs.
“Lieutenants,” he said again, “sorry about the body tagging, but I was needed in surgery.”
The Sergeant took the arrival of his superior as a dismissal, and left.
The tall surgeon walked right past Sue and Julie and gave his full attention to the blond beauty. He glanced at her nametag and read her Dutch name aloud.
Dee responded, “Yes, Sir.”
“You’ll meet the Air Force Captain; we call her by her nickname Skip. She skips from base to base.”
He made hand gestures as he laughed.
“My job is to talk to her about the meds that each patient needs. Mind you, it’s really just procedure. That Captain knows pretty well as much as me.” He grinned. “You’ll like her. For a rookie like you, she’s a great role model.”
“Where are you from, Lieutenant?”
“Pennsylvania. My family is from a long line of Pennsylvania Dutch.”
“Ah, yes; that accounts for the natural blond hair and blue eyes. The grunts will be around you like bees to honey. I might add myself to that category.”
“I’m here to be a good nurse.” The words were out so rapidly that the surgeon blinked.
“Of course you are!” He looked at her, “but after a while you’ll be like any other nurse.”
“What I mean is…well, most nurses work hard and then they play hard. There’s nothing wrong with relaxation is there?”
“No, Sir.” Dee blushed.
“Then, book me in first for some ‘relaxation time’. I’d sure like to play with you!”
The surgeon watched Dee’s face take on a look of alarm.
“Play volleyball,” he replied, while giving her a wink and a grin.
The noise of the choppers became louder.
“We’re waiting for our deployment orders,” Dee said casually. “Play time will probably be a long way off!”
“Not so, Lieutenant. Debriefing is tomorrow, so you’ll bunk in the nurses’ quarters. And,” his eyes sparkled, “I believe you’ll be free for the dance tonight in the Officers’ Mess.”
Dee took note of his name.
“Ah, yes,” said the Major. “Frank Dawson and your first name?”
“After Sandra Dee, the blond bombshell movie star?”
“No, Sir. It’s from the Biblical name Deborah and everyone shortens it to Dee.”
“Well, the Bible is fine in the hands of the Padre, that’s what I think. War has a habit of destroying plans and dreams. After a while, you seek out any fun and pleasure that’s available.”
The Major pointed towards the sky and his wedding ring flashed in the sun.
“Even hospitals get hit with rocket fire. I live for today only!”
He turned back again to include Lieutenants Wong and Montgomery, and his voice took on a different tone. He was now the Officer in Command.
“Dee, you will work with me. You two nurses will work with the medics and any Air Force nurses that arrive.”
Dee felt uncomfortable. Officers on duty always addressed each other by rank.
“Yes, Major Dawson.”
The surgeon turned to a small group of nurses who had just joined the gathering at the landing strip.
“Let’s get the wounded into the ambulances with the minimum of stress. Remember, smiles and kind words. That’s what’s needed now. Don’t grimace or turn away. Body language can destroy a man’s spirit. I know you will do your best.”
Major Dawson turned his attention to Dee.
“Do you see the first C7 landing?”
“You and I will meet the plane. I’ll introduce you to the infamous Air Force Captain. She’ll keep you on your toes and tease you for being ‘Army scum’ or something like that.”
Dee watched the twin-engine Caribou with its green and brown camouflage markings make a smooth landing. A second and then a third plane landed. Dee was now separated now from her nursing colleagues.
“Where has this plane come from?” Dee asked.
“It’s made several stops already at a number of scattered infield hospitals. Skip will share each soldier’s status with me; a five hour flight can be hell if the proper meds are not in place.”
The dust swirled around the planes as they taxied in.
“Lieutenant, I want you to escort those soldiers that can walk. Give them your ‘Sandra Dee’ smile, but don’t use it all up. I intend to enjoy that smile over drinks tonight.”
Dee got her first look at Captain Skip. She was outfitted in a gray pilot’s jumpsuit covering her striking 5 ft 9 body. She waved her hands and shouted commands from behind her dark aviator sunglasses. The Major and the Captain shook hands and chatted briefly before they both scrutinized the upcoming flight plans. After a minute or so, the Major beckoned for Dee to approach.
“Lieutenant, come and meet Captain Skip.”
Top Customer Reviews
By Sharon on June 22, 2014