Dorothy LeClair, an Army Nurse during World War II, holding a photo of herself, left, and her husband, Carl LeClair, who served in the Army during World War II.
Photo by Shaun Kittle.
continued LeClair put down orthopedics and surgery as her choices for duty, but she was put into psychiatry because that’s what was needed most at the time.
”The doctors we had, they were not psychiatrists, they were general doctors,” LeClair said. “A lot of them were not up to doing it. When you’re delivering babies, and all of a sudden you’re in psychiatry, that’s bad.”
Most of the patients LeClair saw were only 18 or 19 years old, and she spent a lot of time talking to them, trying to help them.
She said a lot of the patients wanted to see the doctors, but, oftentimes, the doctors didn’t realize how much help the patients needed.
“We had one patient, he was 19 years old,” LeClair said. “I’ll never forget him. He sat by the doctor’s door for two days; he just didn’t move from there. And then all of a sudden, he got out in the hall and he took a running start and slammed his head right into the radiator. He died right there.”
Like many of the other vets, LeClair will be visiting the memorial for the first time.
She is happy for the opportunity to see it, and for the chance it will give her to reflect on her time serving in the war.
“It’s going to bring back so many memories,” LeClair said. “What they’ve done here is just so wonderful.”