The ring reminds her of one young Iraqi boy and his family.
She keeps it on her dog tags as a reminder of the work the United States is doing to help families in Iraq, especially women and children.
Cmdr. Diane Plappert, a U.S. Navy Nurse Corps reservist, spent four months with the Marine Corps First Medical Battalion in Kuwait and Iraq, where troops routinely handed out food to children.
One day near the ancient city of Babylon, Plappert ran out of food, and all she had left to share was a small white tablet of paper, which she handed to a young Iraqi boy.
"He grabbed it and ran and came back with his whole family. He had given the pad to his mom, and she was crying because they don't have paper. They really don't have much at all," Plappert said.
"This little boy came over to me and gave me a big hug and kiss and this ring. It might be all he had, but he gave it to me."
"I am going to keep that ring on my dog tags forever," she said.
Whenever she has doubts about the work she does, she said, "All I need to do is remember this ring and remember what impact we had on people, and that will be enough."
Saturday, October 25, 2003
"THEY REALLY DON'T HAVE MUCH AT ALL"