Cothorn, Martha Ann Flowers


Cothorn, Martha Ann Flowers
Martha Ann Flowers Cothorn
William Vollano
Martha Cothorn was born in a small coal mining town in West Virginia (Besoco). When the mines closed, her family moved to the Detroit area. Her father took a job as a crane operator for Jones and Lockland. After attending grammar and high school in Highland Park, she undertook her nursing training at Hillard, in New Orleans. Martha joined the Army Reserves and received her final two years through the Government, in exchange for three years of active service. Martha's basic training took place at Fort Sam Houston, in Texas. Within nine months of entering active service, she was assigned to the 67th Evacuation Hospital, in Qui Nhon, Vietnam. Eventually, she became Head Nurse in the Medical and Psychiatric Units. The Evacuation Hospital would receive patients directly from the field and attempt to patch them up. Patients would either be returned to their unit or transferred to the Field Hospital in Saigon. Typical patients had hepatitis, malaria, or PTSD. Suicides were not unusual. Martha met her husband in Vietnam. She was eventually transferred to Fort Devens, where she got married. She went into the Reserves after her marriage because her husband, who was in the Diplomatic Service, was assigned to Laos. Southern Cal University had a branch in Seoul, and she was able to get her master’s degree from that unit. Martha spent 30 years in active and reserve service. When she returned to civilian life, she worked at the VA Hospitals in Detroit and Ann Arbor. She has two adult children, both of whom graduated from college and live in other towns. Martha joined the Vietnam Veterans of America when she was in Washington. When she settled in Ann Arbor, she joined the local unit of VVA Post 310, and is currently the president, the first female president of it. Martha has many awards, including the highest non-combat medal, and the Bronze Star. She currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Date Span
Dates of Service
Commissioned; United States Army Nurse Corps; 67th Evacuation Hospital; Army Reserve; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Vietnam; United States; Lieutenant Colonel
Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Collection Location
Spatial Coverage
Vietnam; United States
Item sets