From left to right: Alicia and Stella
Alicia Mabel Reynoso
Alicia Mabel Reynoso was born in Province of Santa Fe (Argentina) and Stella Maris Morales was born in Province of Cordoba (Argentina).
Alicia studied nursing in Santa Fe. At this moment, to study this career meant a challenge. It was more than a profession, it means devoting your life to the needy. Alicia remembers the words of a Sister of the Catholic Church: “If some day you did not feel pain, this day you could not be working as a nurse”.
When she graduated, she went to Buenos Aires and she worked in different hospitals. At that moment, she heard that the Air Force in Argentina needed nurses for a pilot test. She applied since she felt that this work meant a great love for her homeland and for the human being.
When Malvinas War broke out, she was the most senior nurse and she was called. She decided very firmly to participate. She went, along with her colleagues, to Comodoro Rivadavia. She arrived there and they thought they would go to Falkland Islands, but their boss decided that the hospital would work in Comodoro Rivadavia.
All the nurses started to prepare the supplies for the hospital. The injured combatants were evacuated and the nursed had to prepare the beds for them.
Alicia says that she and her colleagues cured not only the wounds of the body, but also they had to learn to cure the wounds of the soul.
Nurses gave emotional support to the combatants. These men called for their mothers and asked the nurses to be in touch with their families.
Here a moving testimony: “One day the alarm sounded very early in the morning. Several injured men arrived. They were cold and hungry. The nurses prepared soup for them. They put in each spoon a ribbon with the colors of the Argentinian flag. These men needed this kind of support. This support was given by women. They gave support with all their love”.
The return was very difficult for Alicia. In spite of this fact, she decided to tell other people her experience at Malvinas War, particularly to young generations at schools. She says that women played a pivotal role at that moment of the history. Giving testimony is very useful in order to say “No” to the war since it creates pain and fear.
In 2004 and 2007 Alicia went to Haiti as Argentinian Blue Helmet. At that moment she remembered her experience at Malvinas. When she entered to the surgical room of the hospital she felt a great pain. She, along with other committed people, went to Haiti to feed people of this country. They delivered food. As it happened in the past, nurses cured wounds of the soul of Haitian people. Alicia remembers that one Haitian mother wanted to give her son in order to save him.
Her important work was recognized when she received “Ana del Valle” Prize.
Alicia got married, she has two daughters and grandchildren. She always shows great strength.
Alicia says: “Women give life. Thanks to women life is possible”
Stella Maris Morales
Stella Maris Morales studied Fine Arts. Her mother taught her to love being a nurse and to be supportive.
She remembers that when she was a little girl there was a poor neighborhood near her house. She opened the doors of her home to poor people and gave them hot food.
After studying Fine Arts, she studied nursing. She graduated and she worked in Villa Maria (Cordoba) to help her parents.
As she worked in different hospitals, she knew that nurses were called to Malvinas War. She began working at the Air Force and she was sent to Hospital Aeronáutico Central in Buenos Aires. The following year she was called to take part at Malvinas War and she went to Comodoro Rivadavia.
She felt very proud when she was called to participate at Malvinas War. She did not think about the dangerous conditions. She was motivated by a strong vocation and spirit of service. Stella says “Nursing is a job which has closer ties with maternity”.
Returning home after the war was not easy for Stella. But she went on with her life, she got married and she had children. Lately and because her closer ties with Alicia Reynoso, Stella has begun to tell her story and to highlight the role nurses played at Malvinas War.
Alicia and Stella consider very important to remember their colleagues. They shared unforgettable moments. They are: Ana Macitto; Gladis Maluendes; Gisela Basler (German nurse); Sonia Escudero; Stella Botto; Mirta Rodríguez; Elda Solohaga; Mónica Rosas; Mónica Rodríguez; Marta Arce and Liliana Colino.
Unfortunately these women who did their best for their homeland, were forgotten and not recognized by history. Alicia Panero, author of the book “Invisible Women” made known the pivotal role played by female nurses at Malvinas War.
On March 19 and 20, 2015, Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean- PWAG, together with Professor Alicia Panero, organized the Seminar “Women, Armed Conflicts, Neglect and Recognition” in Province of Cordoba (Argentina). Alicia Reynoso and Stella Maris Morales were panelists at this relevant event. After listening to their stories, the audience gave standing ovations to them. They said that they have begun to be visible. This recognition gave them peace and relief.
The National Congress (Argentina) recognized them as war veterans. Their fight goes on since they and their colleagues deserve to be recognized by the whole society for their relevant work.
This post is also available in Español.