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Sandra Van Neel Ross Collection

Identifier: WV 0584

Content Description

The collection includes a 29 April 2015 oral history transcript; a photograph of Ward 5 neurosurgery, South Vietnam, 1968; a photograph of Ross, South Vietnam, December 1968; a photograph of Ross in uniform, undated; a photograph of Ross with several other at workshop, Germany, May 1968; a photograph of Ross looking out at Long Binh post, South Vietnam, circa 1968-1969; a portrait photograph of Ross, September 1970; a photograph of Ross leaving Heidelberg, Germany, June 1971; 2 photographs of Ross with several others, Fort Bragg, NC, October 1980; a photograph of Ross working at the Intensive Care Unit, Fort Sam Houston, TX, undated; a photograph of Ross standing with several others, undated; a copy of newspaper clipping with picture of Ross feeding baby in isolation incubator, undated; a photograph of Ross receiving medal, undated; a photograph of Ross shaking hands with medical doctor, undated; a group photograph with Ross while attending Baylor University, Waco, TX, undated; a photograph of Ross early in her service, undated; 3 candid photographs on base, undated; 2 pages from Ross scrapbook, undated; a photograph of Ross standing with several others, circa early 1970s; a certificate awarding Ross as plank owner of the United States Naval Regional Medical Center, Okinawa, Japan, 1 March 1977; a booklet titled, "Lest we Forget Part II" by Don Barnett and Jody Foss, The 24th Evacuation Hospital 1946-1972.


  • circa 1965-1985


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical / Historical

Sandra Van Neel Ross (b. 1946), of Rochester, New York, served in the Army Nurse Corps from 1965-1985. She retired with the rank of Major.

Sandra Van Neel Ross was born 14 January 1946 in Rochester, New York, but grew up in nearby Spencerport. She attended Churchville High School, where she took courses to prepare her for a nursing career, and participated in the Future Nurses Program. After graduation, Ross began a three year nursing certificate program at the Genesee Hospital School of Nursing in Rochester.

In September 1965, during her third year of training, Ross joined the Army Nurse Corps. They assisted with her final year of tuition, and she graduated in 1966. She began training in October 1966 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Around Christmas 1966, Ross was sent to her first duty station at Fort Knox, Kentucky. With an interest in intensive care, she worked with primarily young soldiers in both medical and surgical wards. In 1968, Ross requested to be sent to Vietnam.

She arrived at Tan Son Nhut airport in Saigon on 4 March 1968, and then went to Long Binh, to the 24th Evacuation Hospital. She had the opportunity to assist with head injuries and spinal taps, participated in MEDCAPs (medical civil action programs) and DENTCAPs (dental civil action programs), and was also tasked with taking care of Viet Cong prisoners of war.

In spring 1969, Ross received an inter-theater transfer to the army hospital at United States Army Garrison Heidelberg, Germany, where she began work in the recovery room, and then the Intensive Care Unit, where she received her first head nurse position.

In January 1971, Ross married her husband, a former enlisted soldier. In June 1971, after returning from Germany, Ross began six months of training at Intensive Care Unit (ICU) school at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Denver, Colorado, after which she received orders to the same hospital and started work in the medical ICU ward, eventually becoming head nurse.

She had her first child, a daughter, in June 1973. In 1975, and while she was pregnant with her second child, Ross received orders to United States Army Hospital at Camp Kuwae in Okinawa, Japan. There she worked in the emergency room, and then as head nurse of the recovery room. Her son was born in March 1976.

In 1977, Ross requested to be stationed at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, and moved back to the United States She held numerous positions during her four years there, including medical supervisor, evening and night supervisor, and assisting the nursing methods analyst. She also earned a bachelor's degree in management from Golden Gate University during this time.

In 1981, Ross received orders to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where she participated in the Veterans Affairs Learning Opportunities Residency Program, or VALOR, and the Baylor University Health Care Administration Master's Program. From 1982 to 1984, Ross completed a nursing residency at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, before receiving orders back to Fort Bragg.

In 1985, after having served for twenty years, she retired from the military with the rank of major promotable. After retirement, Ross used her GI Bill benefits to complete a master's in counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. In 1991, as a result of Operation Desert Storm and a shortage of healthcare workers in the Army, Ross began nursing again at Fort Bragg, assisting in the surgical ward with orthopedics, gynecology, and podiatry, among other things.


0.21 Linear Feet (4 folders)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.

Condition Description

The condition is good.

Offensive Language Statement

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Processing Information

Processed by Matthew McCarthy.

Sandra Van Neel Ross Collection
Matthew McCarthy
2022 June
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US