The military, which prided itself on the records it kept in Vietnam -- counting the
enemy number of weapons captured, for example -- cannot to this day say with
certainty how many women served. The army that sent them never bothered to count
them. The estimate most frequently given is that a total of 10,000 served in the
military in Vietnam."
people to our military was despicable. It has taken years for many servicemen and women to get over
it- and some have not.
What is truly unconscionable in the annals of American military history is the fact that little or no data
exists on the women who served and, yes, were injured or killed, in Southeast Asia during the Viet
Accurate records on how many women were there, what decorations they earned, where they served -
and most important - what after effects they have suffered - and continue to suffer - are nonexistent.
The nonfeasance of the VA in this area is beginning to come to light and some top heavy
bureaucratic committees, task forces and research centers have been created. What they are doing
and how they are helping women at the grass roots level remains to be seen.
However from anecdotal reports, letters, from books by those who were there, from research papers
by military historians, and from the excellent text "Women in the Military - An Unfinished
Revolution", by Major General Jeanne Holm, USAF (Ret), we can glean the following overview.
Over five hundred WACs were stationed in Vietnam.
Women Marines were in Vietnam.
Over six hundred Women in the Air Force were there.
Army, Navy and Air Force Nurses and Medical Specialists numbered over six thousand. Untold
numbers of Red Cross, Special Services, Civil Service and countless other women were there.
Women served in Vietnam in many support staff assignments, in hospitals, crewed on medical
evacuation flights, with MASH Units, hospital ships, operations groups, information offices, service
clubs, headquarters offices, and numerous other clerical, medical, intelligence and personnel
There were women officers and enlisted women; there were youngsters in their early twenties with
barely two years in service and career women over forty.
Women suffered the same hardships as the men in many cases and were often in the line of fire from
rockets and mortars, particularly during the Tet offensive with the Viet Cong attacks on Saigon.
The accomplishments of the military nurses and their dedication in saving innumerable lives has
barely been recorded for future generations.
Yet women were there - they sloshed through the same mud and blood as the men, witnessed the
same horrors of war, and suffered the same treatment and indignities upon their return to the country
that sent them there.
Almost ten thousand women were In Vietnam
LINKS TO OTHER WOMEN VETERAN SITES
Emily / A Donut Dollie In Vietnam
A Nurses Prayer
Hear my prayer in silence before Thee as I ask for courage each day.
Grant that I may be worthy of the sacred pledge of my profession And the lives of those entrusted to my care.
Help me to offer hope and cheer in the hearts of men and my country, For their faith inspires me to give the
world and nursing my best. Instill in me the understanding and compassion of those who led the way, For I am
thankful to You for giving me this life to live.