Rhonda Cornum joined the Army in 1978 and was in the Persian Gulf War. Her grandfather, who was a marine during WWII, influenced her. Though he never really talked about his experiences, she was impressed by the way he carried himself, and she hoped to be similar. It’s interesting to see how the “greatest generation” and the “good war” continued to impact later generations.
Iraqis captured Cornum when her attack helicopter (she was a medical officer) went down. She was injured (gun shot wound to the shoulder, two broken arms, a blown out knee, etc.) and was one of three out of the eight people on the Black Hawk to survive the crash. Cornum was a POW for seven days. Though a woman, the second one captured in the war, she was not treated any differently than the men. She’s still in the Army.
The Persian Gulf War is certainly not my field of expertise (not that I really have any at this point), and, sadly, it’s one of the last wars that comes to my mind when considering American wars. This interview was interesting to look at because of that, and it helped me to think more about the Gulf War. Despite her experiences with the military, or perhaps because of them, Cornum is an extremely optimistic person, and she really enjoys what she does. That’s the best anyone can hope for.