Mentoring Laura at Stevens Hospital
Laura was 18 when she married Mike in December 1967. 43 days later, Mike went off to war in Vietnam as an Army helicopter pilot. At that point, she was accepted at Seattle Pacific College and began studies toward a degree in nursing. Mike returned home from Vietnam in January of 1968. His next duty station was Germany. Laura's schooling was put on hold. During their year in Germany, Laura volunteered in the dentistry unit at Landstuhl Army Hospital. Two dentists found out Laura had surgical room experience and soon she was assisting on dental surgeries. Even though she was an officer's wife and not supposed to work, and was expected to sit home and attend the many Officer's Wive's Club functions and teas that didn't appeal to her. So her volunteer work was kept secret from others. The two dentists also broke a few rules by paying Laura 'under the table' and when ready to rotate home, they pleaded with her to be their surgical nurse when they got out of the Army.
Mike had served his time and elected to leave the Army in February of 1970. They flew home and picked up their schooling, Mike, to become a science teacher and Laura to finish her RN degree. Laura transferred to Shoreline Community College. During that time the hospital asked her to come back to work. It was during this time she continued her training, doing it outside of school. While working in the Emergency Department under Georganne Wittges who was the head nurse, she was certified as a Lab and X-Ray Technician.
Stevens Memorial Hospital, Edmonds WA. Opened in 1964