(1945 - )
Born in Portsmouth, Virginia and raised in Washington, D.C.,
Marita Silverman graduated form the University of Maryland in 1966 with
a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. After graduation, Marita joined the
Army Nurse Corps and was sent to An Khe, Vietnam in August 1970, where
she served as Emergency Room Night Supervisor at the Eighth Field Hospital.
Located in an extremely isolated area, the Eighth
Field Hospital was equipped with only 50 beds yet received many casualties
on a daily basis, including numerous civilians. Marita's primary mission
was to stabilize patients for transfer to larger hospitals along the
By November 1970, the Eighth Field Hospital closed, being ill-equipped
to handle the escalation of hostilities. All medical personnel, including
Nurse Silverman, were reassigned to other facilities. Marita's new assignment
was the 12 hour night shift in a combined Intensive Care Unit and Post
Anesthesia Recovery Unit at the 95th Evacuation Hospital at Da Nang. She
recalled knowing several Jewish physicians at the hospital, including
their Commander, Colonel Weiner.
During the Laos Invasion of February 1971, the casualties
at the 95th Evacuation Hospital were extremely heavy. Reflecting on
this tragic and intense time, Marita states, "It was an experience
that served me well in my subsequent professional life. I learned to
do a lot with a little. I learned compassion when there wasn't anything
else to be done. I developed an inner strength that has continued to
serve me well."
Following her promotion to the rank of captain in
1971, Marita Silverman left the military to attend graduate school,
where she received a Master's Degree in pediatric nursing from the University
of Arizona in 1972. She currently lives with her husband in Tucson, Arizona.
"On every trip that I make back to Washington,
D.C. I am a faithful visitor to the Vietnam Memorial. On my first
visit, about a year after the completion, I went with my father and
my children. I cried so hard walking through - everything during that
year flashed back."
Sources: Courtesy of the Jewish
Women's Archives and Jewish