Women in VN War

AN ACCOUNTING OF AMERICAN WOMEN SERVING IN VN STILL DEBATED
Numbers vary wildly with regard to how many American women served in Vietnam during the War. And there are other debates with different subtexts such as: how many American military women served? How many civilian women served? Yes, there were thousands of civilian women who participated in different capacities (mostly as support personnel) in Vietnam. Records show that at least fifty-six American women died in Vietnam and still more (the numbers have not been tracked to this day) died from, many say, exposure to our old friend AGENT ORANGE once they returned home. In previous wars and conflicts, women were usually safely behind enemy lines, not near the "front". But in Vietnam, there was no "front" and everywhere was the enemy.

American Women in VN By the Numbers
Women's Vietnam Memorial
Washington, DC
The numbers we have read have been represented as 7,000, 30,000, and 10,000. At the low end are military and the high end "other" from civilian organizations such as the American Red Cross and the United Services Organization (USO) and The US Army Special Services Program. There were women employed by USAID, CIA, NSA and numerous other agencies.  American women were not mentioned or recognized as having been in Vietnam for decades and were only recognized officially in 1993 when a statue dedicated to them was unveiled near the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. That statue would, however, never have been erected had it not been for the efforts and moxie of women themselves. Women who had served. And serve they did.

More will be shared here about the American women of the Vietnam War all whom were volunteers, many of whom were civilian. We will celebrate their sacrifices during the month of October 2013 in the lead up to the 20th Anniversary Commemoration of the Memorial. The VVMF (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund) is dedicating its annual gala to those who provided aid and comfort to soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen during the War: The Dustoff Teams, The ARC (American Red Cross) "Donut Dollies".
Nancy Caracciolo Warner
and Nancy Kimbrell Parker
ARC/SRAO
Vietnam Aug 1969-Jul 1970
"Donut Dollies"
at the Red Cross HQ in
Washington, DC
November 11, 2013

A Little Background
Nailing down the numbers of women who served (in whatever capacity) in Vietnam remains elusive. What we will do here is address each organization with a little history, offer links for further study along with first-person remembrances whenever available and, of course, photographs. Ours was a generation that, without realizing it, was very involved on every level with the War. We cannot forget them. Any of them.

If you wish to contribute anything to this effort we- and our readers- will be forever grateful.

The stories of the women who served in Vietnam are as varied as one could imagine. Women represented all 50 states. They were all, truly, the unsung heroes- if there were to be any, of a brutal conflict.

Sound of Silence

The majority of women who we have interacted with, interviewed, conversed or just read their memories via internet research has been, at the very least- gut-wrenching. Most, if not all, do not wish to talk about their experiences. Some have written brief parts of chapters of books. Some have written poems and songs. Many have just gone and faded into the patchwork quilt of the walking wounded that peppers our American lives.

Their memories, their connections, friendships, relationships, views and losses are held close. Many have simply said "it's too personal".

May this small effort reassure them that they- and their brother soldiers- have truly not been forgotten. Life has given us that wisdom we've heard about all of our lives. We were all kids then. We are grown now with kids and grandkids of our own. Welcome home!

Posted on January 7, 2014-
A touching commeration of the women who served.

Welcome Home Our Sisters






6 comments:

  1. Please don't forget the many women (and men) of the U.S. Army Special Services. They ran recreation centers, libraries, craft shops, put on plays that went around country, coordinated the USO shows and tours that came to Vietnam .......... I was both Red Cross (Donut Dollie) and Special Services Recreation, as were a number of us.

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    1. We will NOT forget. That's a promise.

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  2. Thank you...I did not have any contact with round eyes while there 71-72 101st, 265th RRC NSA's cheap help.

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  3. Thank all of the US special services for being there for us, Jonesie WIA 4/24/71

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  4. Dear all
    It is so happy to be connecting with the web of Vietnam my war too, I am very proud of your page May I submit to page the praying letter bellow as THE PRAYING AT OLD BASE KHE SANH FROM OUR TRIP GO TO SEE IN THERE.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________
    Today the date of February 07th , Friday ,2014 at Khe Sanh old base where my friend Ted was stationed and fighting in the Vietnam War. we are present here - Ted Bruce Lively – Veteran of U.S Marin & Pamela Kay Lively (wife of Ted) we are American from US come here together-Thuc Le Quang - old soldier of South Vietnam – Saigon republic regime - Vietnamese that I am living in Vietnam . Dearest the souls of our honor martyrs of U.S Marine at Khe Sanh base in the Vietnam War , especial in 1968 that all of you have fought bravely into these fierce battles, Especial in Khe sanh base and outpost around suck as Village Vay, Tacon airbase , 861, 558 & 881 hill and the surrounding hills. Welcome !,Our Loved friends souls , we knew that you came here to help Vietnamese in the past War to against enemy you fought for the ideals of freedom and world’s peace, you were left from your loved parent, loved wife, loved children, loved girlfriend, loved hometown . Especial, on the years of 1967, 1968& 1969 at Khe Sanh area here! Vietnam's outpost here was being freely World, You were being heroically sacrifice at here, your blood has been spilt, you breathed your last at this place, you are being the war heroes of the word ,of your country , of us , now all of you are being by side the Lord, that we are always very proud of all you. We come here to visit the old battlefield, we missed all you too much, we would like to say the very deep sentiment and the respect from our deep heart for all of you. All of you fell off in last days for the world has been today. You name were being honor on the Wall in U.S. We want to say the thanks too much for all of you; we love all of you so much! We are thinking that you r souls are being together us to see again our Khe sanh old base. Now, we would like to be submitted to your souls by this small offering to all of you in order to delicate all you with a small gift of Vietnam Tet holidays for all of you. We are very sorry to do this by our great sentiment for all of you this occasion that we are present in Vietnam. We would like to make respect our bowing for all of you, we hope that you will be have a monument for all you at here in the near day in the future. Pray all of you peace in God.
    Your close friends POSTED BY THUC LE QUANG -Vietnamese – I am living in Vietnam – my house in Quang Tri Prov

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