Growing up in a small Illinois town, Louise (Lou) Graul Eisenbrandt decided to join the Army in order to “see the world.” After graduating as a Registered Nurse in June 1968, she attended basic training, then headed to Ft. Dix New Jersey, her first duty assignment.
In September 1969, she received orders for Vietnam, arriving there on November 1. During her year at the 91st Evac Hospital, she cared for GIs, South Vietnamese soldiers and civilians, and even Viet Cong and NVA soldiers. From malaria and hepatitis to double amputees, massive head traumas, and deadly bullet wounds; Lt. Graul saw it all.
Since 1970, she has made four return trips to Vietnam, the latest in September 2014, when she joined 11 other vets making their first return trip to the country.
For the past 30 years, the author has been sharing her experiences with students and community groups. In addition, she is Chairman Emeritis of the board of Turning Point in Leawood, KS. Her other interests are travel, photography, golf, gardening, and finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.
Lou lives in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband, Jim. They have two grown children and two grandchildren.
2016 Military Writer's Society of America Silver Medal Award Winner!!!
Combining narrative and poetry, photos and documents, Lou Eisenbrandt's Vietnam Nurse tells the compelling story of how a Midwestern woman, born with a little wanderlust and a lot of courage, found herself serving as a nurse in Vietnam during some of the most dangerous and damaging stretches of the war in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During her service, Eisenbrandt encounters life-changing stories, most notably her own, as she writes in one of her poems, that spark "Songs of love and loss, of sweat drenched nights and blood smeared days." Since the war and through her many return journeys to Vietnam, Eisenbrandt shows us her deepening commitment to service, widening search for truth, and enduring creation of a life that matters.
—Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate
Paperback | ISBN 978-1-941165-68-3 | 160 Pages
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / General
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military
HISTORY / Military / Vietnam War
September 7 – “Big Read Project Kansas City,” The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. Presentation “Vietnam Nurse” by author Lou Eisenbrandt. Mid Continent Library, Independence, MO – 7pm
September 12 – PEO Chapter
September 13 – Featured in “Women in War” PBS in Kansas City KCPT online. TV broadcast follows at end of September
October 8 – “Big Read Project Kansas City,” The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. Presentation “Vietnam Nurse” by author Lou Eisenbrandt. Olathe Public Library, Olathe, KS – 1:30pm
October 12 – PEO Chapter
October 19 – “Big Read Project Kansas City,” The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. Presentation “Vietnam Nurse” by author Lou Eisenbrandt. North Kansas City Librar, North Kansas City, MO – 6:30pm
October 21 – DAR Chapter
November 4 – DAR Chapter
January 6 – DAR Chapter
March 6 – DAR Chapter
April 5 – DAR Chapter
June 12 – PEO Chapter
July 10 – PEO Chapter
Joint signing with son, Matt Eisenbrandt, author of “Assassination of a Saint” 1-3 pm; Country Club of Leawood. Leawood, KS
Airmen’s dinner Honoree; Scott Air Force Base, IL
"New Chapter" meeting
Book club, Topeka, KS
Veterans recognition by VFW and KSUVC. Lenexa, Kansas
July 10 – PEO chapter