U.S. Military Women in Vietnam Essay
U.S. Military Women in Vietnam
United States military women played important roles during the war, in Vietnam. Women served on voluntary terms and proved to aid amid the destruction and death in Vietnam. When Diane Carlson Evans, a former army nurse in Vietnam, first saw the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, she felt something was missing. Her efforts to highlight the service of women in Vietnam were rewarded on November 11, 1993, when the Vietnam Women’s Memorial was dedicated. We learn from (Anderson, p. 99) that, “All women who served in Vietnam were volunteers, whether civilian or military.
At one time there was discussion about drafting women nurses, but this was never implemented. Some women military asked to go to Vietnam, and some were sent against their wishes and even against recruiter’s promises, but all were volunteers because they voluntarily signed up for the military. ” The discussion came up about drafting women, during Vietnam but it was decided that women would not be ordered to serve during this war. There was a huge need for nurses and other jobs, in Vietnam, but the draft was never made mandatory.
We learn from Joan Arrington Craigwell and Ellen Hoffman Young, (Craigwell, Young, p. 77) that “Significant numbers of women served admirably in all branches of service as professional nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, air traffic controllers, aerial reconnaissance photographers, intelligence and language specialists, legal officers, and in security and administrative positions. Civilian women also served in Vietnam in the Red Cross, USO, the Central Intelligence Agency and the U. S. Agency for International Development, as well as in other government agencies. Other women worked there as journalists, flight attendants, and in various church and humanitarian organizations. ”
We also learn that, “Where are these women today? Could they possibly be your wife, your nurse, co-worker, your supervisor, your physician or your next door neighbor? Could you find them if you looked? These women have camouflaged themselves, an easy task in our society. All they have to do is keep quiet. Women served alongside men in that sink-pit of war. For the country to heal, these women need to reveal the full depth of their experiences, first to themselves and then to the rest of us. It’s time for women’s experiences and contributions to be recognized and acknowledged as an important part of the history of the Vietnam conflict.
”Women have not necessarily been associated with serving in the United States, during Vietnam. When we think about Vietnam, we most likely connect the war with an all male group. Many women served in Vietnam and made huge contributions to this war effort. We learn from the Tod Advisor’s Notebook that, (Women in Vietnam, p. 1) “In 2002, we think nothing of seeing women soldiers going into combat, or women police officers on our streets. This is a fairly recent development and, even today, these are far from accepted roles for women outside the United States (and Canada).
During the time of TOD, 1967-69, women’s role in society was very limited. In the military, women were mostly restricted to clerical or medical duties. All women who served in the Armed Forces were either volunteers or “obligatories” (again, my term), the latter being mostly nurses who had received public funding for their training and were obliged to serve two years in the military in exchange. During the period of the Vietnam War, women did not attend West Point or participate in ROTC programs. Far fewer women served in the military (either in total or as a percentage) than had served in WW II.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 May 2017
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