Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

The NYC Veterans Oral History Project: Ardeane Greene-Cook, Veteran Interview

July 29, 2013

(Part 1 of 2):

Viewing videos on requires Adobe Flash Player 9 or higher.

Get the Flash plugin from


Copy the embed code below to add this video to your site, blog, or profile.



Ardeane Greene-Cook served in the United States Army from 1976-1979. She worked as an ambulance driver, in the 514th Medical Company, 5th battalion. Ms. Greene-Cook fell into becoming a medic because she didn’t want to work as a cook or a mechanic-- the only other jobs available for her in the military. She found learning medicine fun and absorbed information quickly. During her service, she went to Germany for training exercises, and slept outside for three months. Ms. Cooke-Greene discusses harrowing ambulance drives over black ice, and the comfort of seeing familiar Coca-Cola in Germany. She also reads the first letter that she sent home to her family from Basic Training aloud.

Major Points in Interview


Part One

3:57 - Travels to South Carolina for Basic Training
5:25 - Discusses uniform, breaking in leather boots
8:06 - Wanted to work with computers, became a medic instead
16:13 - Training in Massachusetts, had to take care of ambulance innthe freezing cold
19:05 - Primary responsibility was driving ambulances
19:50 - When stationed in Germany, slept in tents in fields
20:10 - Worked 24 hour shifts in the MASH unit
20:27 - Near death experience driving a colonel over black ice on the Autobahn in the middle of the night
22:00 - Arrested the next day for damaging the ambulance-- was released with no mark on record
23:35 - Discusses sexual assault
25:43 - Sargent who assaulted her was dishonorably discharged
29:00 - Affirms that everyone should enlist, especially young people, makes them grow up

Part Two
:21 - After military, worked in a bank & brought a military-grade professionalism to the job
2:11 - Was stationed in Germany for 3 months for training exercise
4:30 - Would go out dancing during off-duty hours
7:15 - Had a white boyfriend, and she endured a lot of abusive behavior: kept out of mess hall, smoke bombs in room
10:28 - Loved the boyfriend anyway, and loved meeting different people in the military
12:25 - Adjustment of going home, expensive, rude people
13:45 - Family never asked about her experiences
15:54 - Protesting a VA Hospital closing, she was handed a megaphone & told her story for the first time
18:28 - Cleaning out her mother's apartment & found letters she had written
19:05 - Reads first letter she ever wrote her parents while in the Army