#VeteranOfTheDay Army Veteran Jean Schiffman



Army Veteran Regina Schiffman is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Jean Schiffman, who served as a nurse for 21 years, including during the Korean War.

Jean Schiffman grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating high school, began a three-year nurse training program at Hahnemann Hospital School of Nursing, which is now Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. After completing the program and qualifying as a registered nurse, Jean began work at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

In 1949, Jean joined the United States Army Nurse Corps and received basic training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. In 1951, Jean deployed to Korea with the 8063rd Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. There, she served as an operating room nurse and was responsible for assisting Army surgeons and injured U.S. service members.

Regarding her time in Korea, Schiffman said:

“Our hospital was a tent, initially — later they put it into a frame — but it was a tent with just canvas over the dirt for the floor. We had a potbellied stove in there. The patients we had—the stretchers were brought in, we put on horses; we didn’t have operating room tables. Our enlisted personnel were really great and they devised an actual scrub sink. They had a big tank outside where they heated water and we could actually scrub with not ice cold water for surgery. Our living was really hard. In the winter time, you’d wake up in your sleeping bag and we slept on cots with sleeping bags and looked up and there were icicles because our potbellied stove line would be frozen and no heat. Then we didn’t want to get out of the sleeping bags because then we had to go to the latrine. It’s a tent where the seats would be frozen. That’s a wild, bad awakening in the morning. Really got you going, though.”

After spending a year in Korea, Schiffman returned to the United States, assigned to Fort Knox, Kentucky, then Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. She later served at Valley Forge Army Hospital, Pennsylvania; Landstuhl and Frankfurt, Germany; and Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

After serving four years at Brooke Army Medical Center, Schiffman completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She later served in Japan and Fort Benning, Georgia, where she taught nursing until she retired from the U.S. Army in 1970 at the rank of lieutenant colonel. For exceptional dedication throughout her service, she earned the Meritorious Service Medal.

Schiffman passed away on July 15, 2014 at the age of 89.

More of her story can be found at: http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.41229/transcript?ID=sr0001

We honor her service.


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.


Contributors

Editor: Ashley Levi

Fact checker: Jordan Gossett

Graphic artist: Jessica Hunsinger

Author

Nicholas Rogers-Dillon

Nicholas Rogers-Dillon is a senior studying Philosophy and Political Science at Brooklyn College. He is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and is currently working as a writing intern at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, hoping to pursue a career in public service.

Comments

  1. Judith A. Johnston    

    I worked in Japan with Jeannie Schiffman. It was during Viet Nam conflict, She was special and we became best friends. He Mom Jen took care of me and made sure her nurses were taken care of, We also were friends with Mary Buss the Chief Nurse. They all taught me to play bridge and we played it a lot. Jeannie taught me much about nursing and the Army. What a wonderful Group of friends we were. They called me Lucy because they told me I made her look calm and quiet.
    \When the influx increased from Viet Nam we started working 12 hour days, 7 days a week. We still managed to play bridge though as tired as we were.
    I missed them so much when they. went to San Francisco But when I left Japan guess where I headed for before I went to. Ft. Bragg, NC. That was the last time I saw Jeannie and Jen and lost track of them, In December of 1970 I went to AZ to get My Masters, etc. They went to Texas and I eventually lost track of them. I still have wonderful memories though! Thank you Jeannie Schiffman,
    Judy “Lucy” Johnston

  2. Couronne Princesse    

    Always nice to read the history of a hero of our nation, specially when it is a woman. God bless you Mrs Schiffman !

  3. Daniel L Kibbee    

    Ms Schiffman looks like she could heal you or kill you…. Army Strong.

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