Auclair will speak at museum


TROY — In 2016, legislation was passed which allowed women to serve in every combat role in the U.S. military. Some might believe, however, that women were serving in combat many decades earlier.

Registered nurse Caroline “Abby” Auclair will be the speaker at the May, 1, meeting of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum in Troy at 9 a.m. Her account of her service in the Vietnam War will make some members of the audience acknowledge that her service there was probably in combat in 1971-72.

Auclair was stationed at the 85th Evacuation Hospital at Phu Bai, Vietnam. On one side of th ram-shackled structure was an air strip; a munitions dump was on the other side; and a training area of the South Vietnamese Army were directly across from the hospital.

The hospital was shelled regularly, and for protection from incoming fire, staff would put their patients under their beds, or if they were not mobile, place mattresses on top of them.

Rats and snakes occupied the hospital with the medical personnel, and the staff considered frogs a blessing in the operating room. Why? They kept the insect population at bay, particularly the mosquitoes.

And on one particularly dangerous time in January 1972, the medical personnel packed up equipment and fled for their lives to Da Nang.

Auclair served in both the U.S. Army and the Air Force, separating from the military in 1980 after 10 years of service. Veterans, active duty military, and friends of the military are invited to attend the meeting where a full breakfast will be served beginning at 8:30 a.m. The museum is located at 2245 S. County Road 25A in Troy.

No posts to display