War nurses to be remembered
That's what Trudy Miosge said when she heard nurses would be formally recognised for their wartime roles by the Coffs Harbour RSL Sub-Branch this ANZAC Day.
Trudy was 19 when she served as a nurse in the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corp during the Korean War between 1950 and 1953.
"At 19 you're bullet-proof," she said.
"I wanted adventure and I wanted to go to Japan, I was fascinated by what I heard of the place."
However, an overseas adventure was beyond Trudy's reach due to her young age and she had to make do with life in a camp hospital in Ingleburn, New South Wales.
No complaints from Trudy, though.
"It was wonderful being a young woman at the time, surrounded by all those young men getting ready to go to Korea.
"You'd get these strapping, six-foot tall, bronzed beefy Anzacs coming in, and you'd show them a needle and they'd faint.
"I'm an only child and in the Army I had more brothers than I could put up with."
But it wasn't all fun and games, as the night of August 15, 1952 would show.
When the train she was on stopped suddenly outside Glenrowan, Trudy and two other RAANC privates were rushed outside to help a woman who was lying across the tracks, the wheels of the train severing her legs.
Like the Anzacs they treated, the young nurses showed inspiring bravery when they crawled under the carriage and between the wheels to apply tourniquets to the trapped woman.
"We had to go beneath the train to help her if there'd been any type of hiccup, the wheels would have cut our heads off," Trudy said.
Trudy was recommended for a promotion due to her heroics but she turned it down, wanting to stay in her role at the camp hospital.
"It really was a wonderful time...the only bad thing was there was a war on," she said.
This ANZAC Day, Trudy will unveil a plaque dedicated to those who showed care and compassion to all military personnel during war times, both nurses who served at home and abroad, and medical personnel in the public hospitals.
ANZAC Day has different meanings for different people, and while Trudy is quick with a funny story about her time with the RAANC, she's not immune to tragedy.
"My godmother was killed by the Japanese, I have uncles who are Rats of Tobruk, and my son is in the air force...I get a terrible feeling about war," Trudy said.
"War brings me unstuck."