Watch videos with subtitles in your language, upload your videos, create your own subtitles! Click here to learn more on "how to Dotsub"

AARP Salutes Women Vietnam Vets

0 (0 Likes / 0 Dislikes)
[♪ music ♪] [With pride and gratitude AARP presents: Remembering the Women Veterans of Vietnam.] [Diane Carlson Evans, Captain, US Army Nurse Corps] After Vietnam I think I was like most Vietnam vets. We come home—most of us came home alone. There were no grand welcomes. In fact, it was kind of the opposite. We were really feeling the anti-war protests and—like I said earlier— we were feeling that it wasn't just anti-war, it was feeling anti-soldier—anti-veteran, and that was very painful. The trigger—I think—for my need to do something about our service in Vietnam— our meaning the women— came in 1980 when I learned that there was going to be a dedication in Washington DC to honor men and women who served in Vietnam. And I told my husband—I said, "Honey, I'm going to go to this dedication," which was 1980 on Veteran's Day. And I said, "I have to go alone." And when I saw the memorial I didn't see it as a design I didn't see a black wall. What I saw were the names, and I thought, "They're going to put the names on the wall." And how that just struck me. Eddie Lee Evenson, the patient I took care of in Vietnam, was the only name I remember of a patient I lost, and then I had to go. And I looked up Sharon Lane and I looked up Eddie Lee Evenson. I went to Eddie's name first, and I was so struck by the fact that I looked up and the plates— the marble plates for '68 and '69—the years I was there— were the highest and the widest. And I thought, "I was there." But when I touched Eddie's name I burst into tears because I was touching Eddie. I was very proud of the women I had served with in Vietnam. I was just proud of them. I knew how hard we worked, and under the conditions, and—I mean—we were rocketed. We were attacked. Some of us—not me personally—were physically wounded, but we lost patients in our hospitals when we were under attack. We were on duty 24/7 for all year and with very few breaks. And yet the country didn't know we were there and didn't realize we were there with their sons. Long story short, something is really brewing inside of me that the wall was perfect. [inaudible] included the 8 women whose names were on the wall were there. It was perfect the way it was. But when they added the statue of the 3 men it kind of became—to me—imperfect because the women needed to be visible as well. Let's honor the women in Vietnam by putting a statue there for them. I never lost sight of that vision. And that was a good thing because there were plenty of people who were in powerful positions that wanted to put something else here— something that wasn't a statue. And so the healing for the women veterans has been huge. The healing for when the combat-wounded soldiers—you can see who they are— they will come up to the Vietnam Women's Memorial—that statue— and they will stand there and they will cry. My vision was we would see the women how they looked. What they were doing. And Glenna Goodacre has said about her piece that it's a statue in the round so you walk around it. The interpretation is really up to you, the viewer. There's no rank because we're not talking about rank among the women we're talking about their service, we're talking about their sacrifice. The memorial honors all women who served not just nurses. The nurse is tending to the wounded soldier, the standing woman is looking for a helicopter or divine intervention as Glenna Goodacre said, which it was. And the kneeling woman is the woman who personifies—I think— all the women who served—whatever we did, Red Cross, USO. She's feeling the anguish and the futility of the war. She's looking down into the soldier's helmet, but she's fatigued. There were times we didn't feel strong, but in the end we had to be strong to finish our tour. And all along the way I am—I was struck by —I thought I was doing this for the women who served to honor them; to acknowledge their service, their sacrifice, and the men—our brother soldiers who we had taken care of, but now I have all these families who are writing and saying thank you. "Thank you for doing this for our daughter." [♪ music ♪] [Veterans may your service to our country never be forgotten...]

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 42 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 51
Posted by: aarp on Oct 8, 2013

Diane Carlson talks about the women who served in Vietnam

Caption and Translate

    Sign In/Register for Dotsub to translate this video.