When I think of Vietnam Vets, I picture gnarly men with ravaged bodies and wounded souls who wrongfully weren’t accepted back into our society as heroes like our beloved WWII vets. They fought an ugly battle overseas, but arrived home to find a new war on their hands. They were still the enemy, now to their own beloved country.
It’s one of those time periods in American history that still causes me personal outrage.
The vets attempted to get medical help, jobs, and an education while battling personal demons and war protesters. The war in America was as devastating as the one they’d just fought. The American government made them go and the American public wouldn’t accept them back.
In looking through old pics when the Vietnam Traveling Wall (blogged here) I realized like most Americans, I was leaving out the American women who served, suffered and/or died in Vietnam. I took pictures of the flowers and of some of the tags, but never revisited these memories.
There are names of eight women chiseled into the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, also referred to as The Wall.
In all 265,000 women volunteered; 10,000 of those women served within combat.
1LT Sharon Ann Lane, USA was a nurse who died when her hospital was hit by a Soviet rocket.
On his website, Gary Jacobson shares his personal experience of being injured during Vietnam War. “Sharon Ann Lane truly epitomized that unselfish healing I received. She tenderly administered to the slings and arrows of that most terrible beast called war. She gave of her very essence in this greatest act of love, meting out her healing to nourish and restore not only abundant physical wounds, but also by her goodness assuaging insidious mental afflictions that a treacherous war implants in the minds of “boys next door.”
A further biography is here. A blog post about Lane is here.
I didn’t have pictures from the Vietnam Traveling Wall memorial of the other seven, but they are listed below. Click on each picture to read more about their lives and their contributions.
The first woman POW was a missionary doctor.
Dr. Vietti was a Christian Missionary Alliance medical missionary who died doing what she wanted to do from the time she was a child growing up in Bogota, Columbia, the daughter of a traveling geologist.
Dr. Vietti is shown during surgery.
(All images lead to informative websites. I encourage you to grab some Kleenex and click on each icon.Take your time.)
From a page called Many Women Served. Follow various links to see the ways different women served.
This memorial was dedicated November 11, 1993
Those that were in Vietnam speak more powerfully than I can. Read more by clicking the links below:
- Vietnam: In Their Own Words – Story Telling at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial
- Angels in Hell by Darrell Nichols
- Pieces of your Heart by Jerry Ewen
- Sister Search program is to locate the military and civilian women who served their country during the Vietnam War.
Again, all images below are hyperlinks to read more about the men and women who served during the Vietnam War. Honor them by keeping their stories alive.
The women from Vietnam who returned ended up missing in action in America. They were not welcomed home, nor were they hailed as heroes.
They rarely told anybody they served in Vietnam. Many didn’t know they were entitled to GI education benefits. Many gave birth to children with health issues.
They hid in the shadows of their own horrific memories and kept their pain to themselves , while never forgetting the permanent death stench in their nostrils, the terrified cries of the dying, and the heaps of mutilated flesh.
America makes mistakes. But I believe we are different as a nation even in our failures. When our errors are admitted and discovered, we try to rectify the situation. We can’t undo the damage, but maybe in the future, we will be quicker to see our errors and quicker to relieve the suffering of those who suffered for us.
Our diligence and determination in honoring the women of Vietnam should match the diligence and determination in which they served.
We must assure these women of Vietnam –
Karen Smith says
Dr. Vietti stayed with us when she was stateside during 1962. I was 8 years old. At the end of her staying she was returning to Vietnam. My dad took her to SFO airport and she returned to Vietnam. He was the last person in the United States to see her alive. She made a profound impact on my young life as she taught me Vietnamese that I still remember at 62. She was an awesome Woman of God and gave her life in service that Him.
Mindy Peltier says
Karen, I am thrilled that you found my blog and left this incredible personal story of your contact with Dr. Vietti. There isn’t much to find out about her, but I was so drawn to her life story. I loved hearing how she blessed your life. Thank you so much for sharing. Many blessings to you, friend.
Don Brodie says
Powerful and long overdue
Mindy Peltier says
Don, thank you for visiting my blog and for commenting. It was a thrill to meet you and I am so thankful for your service in Vietnam and that you returned home. Many blessings to you, friend.
vergil maples says
as a vietnam vet. within the last 5 years, i have became more aware of the nurses, and donut dollies that i had contact with in vietnam. they should have credit for their credit. if you ever needed them, you you know this. im very apprecitive. thanks thanks thanks,
Mindy Peltier says
Vergil, thank you so much for reading and commenting. THANK YOU for your service in the military. It’s a war that still tears America apart, a war that never had an ending. I appreciate your visit to my blog.
Mindy Peltier says
Vergil, thank you so much for visiting my blog and for commenting. Most of all, I am thankful for your service. The world is a better place because of American soldiers who have fought in so many wars in the past century. Many blessings to you, friend.
This is a lovely tribute, Mindy! I can’t even imagine what they all went through, and so many of them were just barely out of their teens. Practically children they were! My dad was 18 and at Pearl Harbor the day it was bombed, so he was a Pearl Harbor Survivor. He told me “I became a man that day.” Thanks so much for honoring these heroes and for linking up to “Making Your Home Sing Monday” my friend!
Jonathan Caswell says
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
ANOTHER PART OF THE STORY—WE MUST REMEMBER!!!
What a special post that I’m sure took a lot of time to write. Thank you for honoring the fallen with your writing. You were right, I most of the time think of the men who served first. I really enjoyed this post concerning the women who also served and died. I am so thankful for the soldiers, nurses, doctors and so many others who sacrifice for my/our freedom. I will never forget.
Thank you, Tandis. I am thankful for people like your husband who are not ashamed to teach true American history. We must never be silent. When you keep reading these women’s stories, you will be amazed. I feel like I’ve just begun to learn.
Dear Momma Mindy, I am honored to be the first (apparently) person to like your post on Women Vietnam Veterans. I am a Vietnam Veteran and I remember meeting a few of the women (though not these) who served alongside us. Yes, this is a weekend to remember all of our Veterans from the least to the greatest. Everyone of them who went and served is due the honor of being called great. Thank you for thinging of them and remebering them. Thank you very much.
Thank you for serving and though I may be decades late, I say THANK YOU and WELCOME HOME. I learned so much in preparing this post, and I cried through most of it. It is my honor to remember them, even if in a small way.
Well, you made me cry as well but they were good tears remembering those who we should all remember. You effort is worthy to be passed on and I plan to send it to many other veterans. Again, thank you.
Mindy, I am very happy to report that your blog has been forwarded 3 times now to very many veterans and the initial feedback is that they all think your blog is awesome!
Thank you so much, friend. I am greatful for your kind encouragement.