The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » Wendy Marie Wamsley Taines

"That was the first night that my own mortality really hit me. That was the last and only night I cried." (Audio Interview, 37:07)

   Wendy Marie Taines
Image of Wendy Marie Wamsley Taines
Wendy Wamsley Taines, Fort Dix, NJ [1989]
War: Persian Gulf War, 1990-1995
Branch: Army
Unit: 15th Evacuation Hospital
Service Location: Fort Dix, New Jersey; San Antonio, Texas; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Saudi Arabia
Highest Rank: Corporal
Place of Birth: South Bend, IN
View Full Description

In 1989, Wendy Wamsley was a troubled 17-year-old high school student with bad grades and an attitude to match. When her policeman father informed her she was joining the Army—or she was moving out of the house—she agreed to enlist. What she couldn't have anticipated was a tour of duty as a medic during the Persian Gulf War, an experience which definitely provided her with an attitude adjustment.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (10 clips)
»Complete Interview  (72 min.)
»Photo Album (1 photo)
More like this
»Forever a Soldier
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (10 items)
How she came to enlist; adjusting to military life; using her anger constructively. (05:11) Training in the evacuation hospital; preparing to go to war; colleagues in denial about going abroad. (07:41) Living conditions on arrival (01:36)
Training for the realities of war, including security issues; first casualties; treating Kuwaitis and Saudis, and Iraqi POWs. (07:38) Friendships were rare; living for the moment; not having proper equipment and medicine for casualties. (04:34) Her love of the American GI patients. (00:48)
Sorting out real wounds from self-inflicted ones. (01:23) Combat medic's duties in addition to medical; making do with limited sanitary facilities. (05:33) Coming home to a surprise. (01:50)
Reactions to her experience in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder. (03:29)  
Home » Wendy Marie Wamsley Taines
  The Library of Congress
  May 29, 2007
Veterans History Project Home
Contact Us