Maryanna Hiester grew up helping her father, a disabled World War II Veteran. The oldest of 10 siblings (2 daughters and 8 sons), Hiester became quite adept at taking care of others. In between her second and third year of nursing school, Hiester enlisted in the Army to both assist with her schooling and possibly prevent her younger brother from having to go to Vietnam (there was a rule that only one child per family could serve at once). After basic training, Hiester chose to be stationed in Phu Bai. She quickly befriended all of the young helicopter pilots, including Bob Hill, who she dated. Later that year, Hill was on a mission to recover two of his buddies that had been shot down, but was shot down himself and killed. A few days later the pilots Hope had been sent to rescue returned to base camp unharmed. In her conversation, Hiester speaks about her experiences as a wartime nurse, her close relationships with her fellow base members, and the adversity she has faced as a female Vietnam Veteran.