Westlake woman nursed GIs during WWII

Westlake woman nursed GIs during WWII

WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) - Faye Singer was only 16 when she signed up to be an Army Cadet nurse. She eventually took care of returning U.S. soldiers in small east Texas hospitals. Some of their afflictions were interesting.

"One that I remembered that has intrigued me was shistosymiasis. Isn't that a horrible name? It was a disease caused by these GIs walking in the rice paddies, coming in contact with snails."

Noticeable among some was what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder.

"The GIs that I nursed would not talk about it. They would spend all day long talking about a deer hunt, but they would not tell you one thing about what happened overseas. It was as if they wanted to blot it out. I can understand why. In those days, they didn't pay much attention to the emotional situation."

After so much attention paid to PTSD these days, Singer wishes more had been known back then.

"The GIs in those days just didn't talk about it. Which I think was just a pity. I think they may have been better off talking about it. We  would have been better off because we would have realized what war was like. But with them, it was a job done, get it over with and of course when they got out, they had to find a job."

Singer went on to serve in several hospitals and clinics after the war and eventually taught nursing at Sowela.

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