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Sarah Watson Prisco


Upon graduation from college in 1968, I was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and assigned to the Medical Field Service School (MFSS), Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to attend the 8-week Officer Basic Course for the Army Medical Specialist Corps (AMSC). Following completion of the course, I transferred to Brooke General Hospital for the 12-month Dietetic Internship training program. When the internship ended, I remained at the medical center as a Registered Dietitian with the rank of first lieutenant and then captain. While a first lieutenant, I married Army First Lieutenant Nicholas A. Prisco in August 1969, and became pregnant with our first child just before he was ordered to Vietnam in late March 1970. Once I reported my pregnancy, and to my great distress, Army regulations required that I could no longer serve, which resulted in my Honorable Discharge in September 1970. My hope for an Army career had vanished with the stroke of a pen. A short time after my forced discharge, I learned that a female commissioned officer facing the same circumstances successfully brought a lawsuit requiring all branches of the military to allow pregnant women to continue serving. Unfortunately that was of no help for me.

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