Patricia L. Walsh, RIVER CITY a nurse's year in Vietnam

RIVER CITY a nurse’s year in Vietnam

(ISBN 9780982298909, memoir, 303 pages, $14.95)

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At 24 I volunteered for Vietnam as a civilian nurse in a primitive Vietnamese hospital caring for people caught in the crossfire. I was against the war and never expected to fall in love with a gung-ho American marine who was involved with the CIA, or the Tet Offensive.

At The Other Angels you can see excerpts from a documentary I made about my Vietnam medical team. It won audience awards at film festivals, aired nationally on PBS and won a Gracie and the Grand Award from American Women in Radio and Television. You can also view the entire 1-hour documentary at

I originally wrote about my Vietnam experience in a novel, Forever Sad The Hearts, which Paramount Pictures optioned for Cher the year she won Best Actress for Moonstruck. Unfortunately, they couldn't get a good script, the project went into turnaround, and Paramount quitclaimed the rights back to me.

I rewrote my experience as a memoir, RIVER CITY a nurse’s year in Vietnam. I have also written CEMETERY PICNICS, a novel about coming home with PTSD. Both are available at You can read the first chapter of RIVER CITY below or the first several chapters of either book online at using the Look Inside feature of the Kindle editions.

I have also adapted RIVER CITY for the screen. At you can download my script. As of 2023, no movie produced in the last 20 years has a quote in the American Film Institute 100 greatest movie lines. RIVER CITY would end that drought.

Peace, Patricia L. Walsh

River City front cover



River City Back cover


River City copyright page


River City Author's Note





















The Other Angels

a film by

Patricia L. Walsh

Producer, Writer, Director

David Emrich, Editor

Paul Conly, Original Music

War nurses are often referred to as angels by their military patients. The Other Angels profiles the courageous American civilian nurses who volunteered in 1967 for duty in primitive, understaffed and poorly supplied Vietnamese hospitals caring for wounded civilians caught in the crossfire of war.

Filmmaker Patricia Walsh brings a unique credibility to The Other Angels. She is the first war nurse to produce, write, and direct a film about women in war. It is also a story of love and loss, and a graphic example of how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) followed so many home from Vietnam.

The film oscillates between two events: the reunion of these Vietnam nurses in 1993 at the dedication of the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington, DC, and their days in Danang, South Vietnam, portrayed through historical film footage of their hospital, the war, and events surrounding it.

The Other Angels group picture

The Other Angels, five former civilian nurses in Danang, at the dedication of the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington, DC.

Patricia Walsh with student and patient

Patricia Walsh as a 24-year-old nurse in Danang with a Vietnamese nursing student and a patient.

Patients at Danang Surgical Hospital.

Patients at Danang Surgical Hospital.


Praise for The Other Angels from:

 [Harvard Educational Review]

 [American Women in Radio and Television]

 [American Library Association Booklist]

 [Video Librarian]

 [Oliver Stone]

 [Mary Pipher]

 [Jeffrey Lyons]

 [Peter Davis]

 [Dr. Tom Williams]

 [Prof. W. R. Hochman]


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Harvard Educational Review, Volume 67, Number1, 1997, 152-154.

The Other Angels, a film written, produced, and directed by Patricia L. Walsh, a civilian nurse who volunteered in Vietnam from 1967 until 1968, won the People's Choice award at the 1995 Denver International Film Festival. Previously aired on PBS, the film is now being used by educators to show their high school and college students another side of the Vietnam War, a side that Oliver Stone never portrayed. Patricia Walsh's Vietnam is one of caring nurses who went to war not because they had to, but because they wanted to. When asked how she could go there, Walsh replied, "How could I not?" Her brief tenure in Vietnam left her in chronic pain from a back injury and made her determined to share with others her experiences with Vietnamese and U.S. soldiers. ...

Walsh's film oscillates between two events: her reunion with other civilian nurses in 1993 at the dedication of the Vietnam War Nurses Memorial in Washington, DC, and her days in Da Nang, South Vietnam, portrayed through film footage of the war and events surrounding it. ... The Other Angels is both haunting and surreal. In one of the most poignant scenes, Walsh remembers the irony of her work in Da Nang: she saved so many lives, but a marine whom she loved died from a "salvageable wound." An interesting effect is the inclusion of footage of anti-war marches juxtaposed with the reunion of women who served in Vietnam. Walsh does not address the pro- or anti-war sides of the debate; rather, she shows the impact of war both on the families around her post and on the soldiers who attended the reunion as world-weary veterans. In this regard, the filmmaker succeeds in depicting how war affects both the innocent and the dutiful. ... For the majority of the film, she lets the story tell itself through those who were there and through powerful visual images. ... Walsh has crafted an earnest, honest, sensitive film on women's contributions in war-time. C.A.W.

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American Women in Radio and Television 1650 Tysons Boulevard, Suite 200, McLean, VA 22102

February 10, 1997

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Foundation Trustees of American Women in Radio and Television, it is our pleasure to congratulate you on your entry, The Other Angels, as winner in the Twenty-second Annual Gracie Allen Awards ... Your entry displays superior production quality and effectively portrays the changing roles and concerns of women.

April 24, 1997

 The Other Angles named Grand Award Winner by American Women in Radio and Television during the Gracie Awards ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York.

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American Library Association, BOOKLIST December 15, 1996, 738.

The Other Angels Ages 16-adult. The 1993 Veterans Day unveiling of the Women's Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., was the occasion of a public celebration and the reunion of five civilian nurses who had treated Vietnamese casualties at Danang in the late 1960s. A plethora of newsreel and stock footage and personal photos recalls the war years and documents the dedicated medical personnel and wounded patients in these women's lives, while glimpses of the jubilant parade and personal memories depict the significance of this special day. Feeling made and emotionally powerful, the production never lapses into sentimentality. Filmmaker Patricia Walsh offers a keen sense of intimacy while keeping tight artistic control of the documentary's visual elements and its affecting subject. This is a wonderful addition to programs and studies of the Vietnam War. - Irene Wood 

BOOKLIST January 1 & 15, 1997 (Booklist Editors' Choice '96 issue) 771.

The Other Angels named Editors' Choice for 1996.

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The Video Librarian, Volume 11, No. 6, November-December 1996, 39.

... Walsh's film interweaves archival footage from the period and interview clips to effectively provide a sense of place and time for the stories the women share. An often powerful film which captures both the horror and the grace of humanity in unspeakable conditions, The Other Angels is highly recommended. Aud: C, P. (R. Pitman)

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Oliver Stone

"A moving reminder of the importance of war."

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Mary Pipher, best selling author of Reviving Ophelia and The Shetler of Each Other

"I loved it. I learned a lot. I was deeply moved by the stories."

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Jeffrey Lyons, Sneak Previews

"Deeply compelling and heartfelt."

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Peter Davis, Director, Academy Award winning Hearts and Minds

"Patricia Walsh's film is one every student of Vietnam should see."

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Dr. Tom Williams, founding President, International Association of Trauma Counseling

"This film opens the door to let people see PTSD."

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W. R. Hochman, Professor of History, Dean of Summer Session, Colorado College

"The Other Angels is a rare film. It and Pat Walsh's discussion afterwards had a powerful impact on students at the age of making their own decisions about great moral issues."

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Patricia L. Walsh has been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and Charlie Rose, and spoken at many universities.  She is available for speaking engagements.



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