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Army Nurses Play Important Role In America's Welfare

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The Army Nurse Corps has worked beside veterans for 100 years. This year, the corps is celebrating its anniversary.

While troops went off to battle in World War II, Mary Bradley headed to school with the dream of becoming an Army nurse.

"Back then, I think, it was you were thinking more of the troops and the casualties and to learn something to help the injured," she said.

Providing that help turned into a 50-year nursing career for Bradley. She is one of 40 Army Nurse Corps retirees who participated in this year's Veterans Day parade.

"I think it's wonderful that it [the Nurse corps] is being recognized, making us aware of it being the 100th anniversary," she said.

Mary Dickey was an Army nurse from 1971 until she retired in 1998 as a colonel from the Womack Army Medical Center. She said the role of the Army nurse dates back all the way back to the 1700s.

"[You can] find actual documentation from Gen. George Washington, saying what they really need to make troops fit to fight is a few good nurses," she said.

Dickey said it is important that this chapter of military history is not forgotten.

"Being a part of the Army is not just today, but it's also being a part of the community tomorrow," she said.

Although the Nurse Corps holds its centennial celebration this year, the actual anniversary is in February.