Tennessee Farm Girl to Vietnam Nurse
Today is National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day. In honor of this special day, we’d like to highlight the service of a very special Vietnam Veteran in our community.
Jeanne Morelock was raised on a farm in eastern Tennessee. She studied nursing and graduated with an RN from Fort Sanders Presbyterian College Knoxville, Tennessee. After graduation, Jeanne wanted to explore other parts of the country, so she moved to New Jersey and worked at Perth Amboy Hospital, and then transferred to California for a real adventure. While working in California and living with two friends from Tennessee, Jeanne came home one evening after working her shift at the hospital to find one of her roommates meeting with an Air Force recruiter. Her roommate, along with the recruiter, convinced Jeanne to enlist for two years.
Her first assignment was at Travis Air Force Base in California. When her services were needed in Vietnam, she served as an Operating Room Nurse. Jeanne has done everything from delivering babies to care for wounded soldiers. Being one of 25 women at the base in Vietnam had its perks: the men were always very attentive. Some women were nurses, and others were volunteers like “Donut Dollies”, who brought a touch of home to the front lines.
Jeanne enjoyed traveling to Japan for R&R-she visited Kyoto, Misawa, and Bangkok. On one flight to Japan, Jeanne was the only woman on the plane. The flight attendant asked her if each soldier could sit next to her for five minutes to have a conversation. She obliged and the time on the plane went by fast!
After her tour in Vietnam, Jeanne served at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. After four years of service and only one week away from being a Major, she was ready to return to civilian life. She retired from the military as a Captain, returned to California, and continued her nursing career with San Rafael Hospital in San Francisco. Jeanne’s favorite job over the years was her work at the Erwin Memorial Blood Bank. Her most challenging job was the Evening Supervisor of a 250-bed hospital.
After about forty years, she retired, returned to Tennessee, and purchased property that was once her family farm. Jeanne has lived at Givens Estates since July 2014. Always thinking and caring for others, she often bakes brownies, cakes, and cookies for Givens Estates staff to show her appreciation. We appreciate Jeanne for her good cheer and service to our country!