Saluting Army Mom: Della Keil

by Pat Collins Miller


 I am sharing a photo of my mom, 1LT Della Keil, Army Nurse Corp 1951-52. While in nursing school, she was a member of the Cadet Nurse Corp, a USPHS program to increase the number of nurses during WWII. In exchange for tuition and book assistance, the nursing students had to agree to work in a military hospital for 6 months. My mom worked at McCloskey Army General Hospital with soldiers returning from combat who were either amputees/paralyzed or who had been POW’s of the Germans. ((There is a bill pending in Congress to give veterans status to these women. Like the women pilots.) Then she went to college, earning her BSN. Many of her classmates had been military nurses during the war and encouraged her to enlist. So, after she graduated, she joined the Army. She was on active duty for almost 2 years, assigned to an evac hospital. Then she got married. At that time, women could not be on active duty and married. So she got out of the Army and became an Army wife. For the next 23 years, she made a home for use when we moved to Europe 3 times and when dad went to Vietnam. So my mom really did wear Army boots!


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