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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    mom expressed herself I think that you ll be homesick you know and then just tell them how old you are I never looked back says Brandt who went through Basic Training at Ft Ogelthorpe GA where she said she got the education of a lifetime We were a conglomerate of people from all over the nation all ages all walks of life It was an education just beyond words she says For example just in the circle around my bed we had a Powers model from New York we had a lady logger from Oregon we had a mother and daughter outfit who were very religious I mean it was just a university within these barracks walls I just can t imagine anybody having a greater experience Making Friends in a War Zone Underage veteran Dorothy Mae Hinson Brandt was interviewed by the Pentagon Channel in April 2007 when she and other members of the Veterans of Underage Military Service gathered for their annual reunion DoD Video Still Photo Courtesy of the Pentagon Channel Brandt became an active training sergeant in charge of training other women some of them twice her age Educational experiences continued when Brandt went to Des Moines IA for overseas training and in late spring of 1945 traveled across the Atlantic with about 100 other WACs to serve in General Mark Clark s 15th Army as it made its way through northern Italy to occupy Vienna Austria What Brandt saw there made a lasting impression It was seeing what war does to people They starred blankly at you not with hatred or not with love or not with anything just with war weary tired nothing It was very heartbreaking she recalls Not all experiences were heartbreaking I made friends with people I love people she said Friends included a German Austrian lady who cleaned the barracks in Vienna Her husband was killed in the war and her son was missing in action One day the woman ran to Brandt with big tears flowing her son was coming home She invited me to the welcome home party and I was so honored That was one of the most memorable things I had Brandt said She added that meeting the son was a poignant moment that showed the age of war versus the age of a person At the time I was 18 he was 18 he was very very thin he had been a prisoner of the Russians After a year Brandt returned to the United States and like most WACs was discharged and returned to civilian life Just a few weeks later she was asked to return and fill a need for office workers in the adjutant general s office in Heidelberg Germany Off I went again though I still wasn t old enough to go she said When I left she gave me a picture of her and her brother On the back she wrote It s so easy to remember and so hard

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Oral_History/oralhistoryhlBrandt.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    Teachers College now Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville NC She had been living with her sister one of her 14 siblings but when she was faced with the news that she would have to move on to campus she visited the Marine Corps recruiter instead Looking Back 50 Years Her recruiter took her to Raleigh NC for a physical exam but because the United States was still largely segregated there were no hotels where she could stay She remembers that she stayed in a room of a private home Joyce arrived at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island SC in March 1958 Her recruit class consisted of 50 women four of which were minority women Joyce found basic training very hard but she remembers that all recruits were treated equally and subjected to the same training regimen We all lived the same on the same squad bay They the drill instructors did the same thing to me that they did to everyone else They turned the footlockers over they tore beds up they did not give you any type of preferential treatment PFC Joyce Hadley Malone s Woman Recruit Battalion Platoon 4 A MCRD Parris Island SC April 1958 Photo courtesy of Joyce Malone Life off the base was not quite as fair After graduating from Basic Training she and two other Women Marines of Mexican descent were dropped off at the train station to head to their first duty station in Washington DC When they decided to go to a restaurant to eat they were stopped at the front door and PFC Malone was told that she could not eat there but that her friends could Her friends said If she can t eat in here then we re not going to eat in here Joyce recalls All three of us left and we got machine crackers or something from the vending machine Before leaving active duty in 1962 Joyce served as an administrative clerk at Marine Corps Headquarters Washington DC and at Quantico Marine Base Quantico VA Once a civilian again she returned to school to finish her education earning a bachelor s degree in Political Science and a master s degree in Education at Fayetteville State University Later she served 12 years in the Army Reserve earning her Parachute Wings by completing Jump School at Fort Benning GA at the age of 38 and serving one year as a drill sergeant She obtained the rank of staff sergeant and tied her military experience into a long career in government work and eventually retired from the civil service Like Mother Like Daughter Her daughter said that growing up with this remarkable mother as an example did have an impact on her own life decisions but she preached school first before anything Patricia took her mother s advice and graduated from Winston Salem State University Winston Salem NC in 1990 with a bachelor s degree in Physical Education before pursuing enlistment She worked as a substitute teacher and

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Oral_History/oralhistoryhlMalone.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    tails was designed and issued to the women In 1976 the women were also issued modified gray pants For the women they took the gray pants with the black stripes and put a plastic zipper in it So by the time we hadn t even been at the Academy twelve hours we had to go across the plain and do our oath of office about half the women s zippers had already broken So here we are 17 18 19 year old women with 19 20 21 year old men in our cadet chain of command and you are in this kind of odd unique situation Women found themselves in another odd situation regarding grooming as Marene explains I had a platoon sergeant who decided that my hair should be as short as the guys and by August of 1976 I had hair less than one inch long all over my head And the tactical officer had said to me Cadet Nyberg New Cadet Nyberg don t get another hair cut and then the platoon sergeant would say Cadet Nyberg go get another hair cut so I just kept going to get haircuts Cadet Nyberg and her mother Photo courtesy of Marene Nyberg Allison The Cadet Experience While a few women dropped out at each phase of the training those who remained carried on and took part in all aspects of the Academy experience One important element of this experience is participating in team sports but there were no women s teams at the academy yet Marene played field hockey in high school and without a women s field hockey team at West Point she looked for other opportunities She become involved in the sport of orienteering a military skill sport where one runs from point to point in the woods locating the points with a map and compass Marene developed a tremendous skill for orienteering and she became the 1980 top US woman competitor at the college level competing with the US World Orienteering team in Switzerland Summer training is another central aspect of the cadet experience West Point cadets spend their second summer learning about the various Army branches There s infantry week reconnaissance training and patrolling What you ve got to understand is that in 1977 the idea that women even learning about combat patrolling understanding the placement of howitzers and field artillery pieces and driving tanks was hugely new for the Army and for the military It was shocking Soldiers had never seen a woman on a tank They had never seen a woman fire an artillery piece It was perceived that a woman would never be able to do any of these These were all men s jobs at the time and so everyone just expected the women to fail there was no expectation of success for the women During their third summer cadets complete leadership training In the summer of 1978 Marene went to a Military Police unit in Berlin West Germany before the

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Oral_History/oralhistoryhlALLISON.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    historians researchers students or anyone interested in military women s history during the Vietnam War era said retired USAF Brig Gen Wilma Vaught Women s Memorial Foundation President The Sanchez interview is just one example of the power of oral history From her memories of caring for Cambodia s President Lon Nol to her vivid descriptions of handling triage dust off situations where wounded arrived like locusts LTC Sanchez s story reminds us of the tremendous contributions American women made in the Vietnam War She was one of only 43 Army Physical Therapists 33 of whom were women who served in Vietnam from 1966 73 Despite the complex horrors of war and the often painful memories of life and death at the 95th Evacuation Hospital the resounding message in her interview is the strength of the human spirit In the worst possible situation the human spirit comes alive It is the human spirit that especially showed with the wounded They were so incredibly poised There was a beauty and peace about how they accepted their fate For me it was not just one soldier It was a matter of each and every patient that I treated I shall always remember the incredible spirit they showed during such a horrendous time The experience I had with all of these soldiers will never be forgotten Her story is also unique because she addresses a wide variety of historically significant themes some still common today and others widely under explored For example she provides a new perspective on our country s cultural history through her discussion on the strength of the black power movement in Vietnam Her memories also shed light on women in the medical specialty professions at an important time during the women s rights movement LTC Sanchez s interview also brings to life some of the obstacles physical therapists faced in combat zones including treating patients with all nature of war injuries MAJ Sanchez with Vietnamese children at the 95th Evacuation Hospital Physical Therapy Clinic Da Nang Vietnam Aida Nancy Sanchez Collection Women s Memorial Foundation MAJ Sanchez with 95th Evacuation Hospital Physical Therapy staff Aida Nancy Sanchez Collection Women s Memorial Foundation Another challenge she faced was tending enemy POWs She recounts her experience of caring for a petite but very pregnant Vietnamese woman allegedly responsible for setting land mines that killed approximately 65 American soldiers The patient had broken her right femur as she ran to escape the explosion of the land mines She was brought to the 95th Evac and we put her in the POW ward As I approached to treat her she grabbed my neck and tried very hard to choke me as if she wanted to kill me A Special Forces sergeant tried to get her to release her grip off my neck as I also was trying to get her hands off me The sergeant finally gave up and slapped her I just had to stop him I think that knowing what she

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Oral_History/ohSanchez.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    day the Japanese Empire bombed Pearl Harbor Finally in the proud spirit and legacy of the NSCDA these recordings testify to the Dames longstanding bonds of shared heritage patriotic service and citizenship In 1988 WWII Navy LTJG Louise Woodruff Scott pointed out World War II was not the first war which required women to replace men to some extent on the home front We were at less risk of danger and at a more technologically advanced level than for example one of my Revolutionary War grandmothers who went out and gathered in the cattle under gunfire In Oct of 1994 retired Air Force Brig Gen Wilma L Vaught president of the Women s Memorial Foundation formally accepted this remarkable collection on behalf of the Foundation Over the years the tapes and transcripts were processed conserved and made available to researchers and scholars Last year this exceptional treasure of analog cassettes underwent the process of digital renovation and restoration In addition to audio digitization the contents of each individual file including photographs military documents and newspaper clippings were also scanned and placed on compact discs This initiative was made possible through the generosity of WWII Public Health Service LT Josephine Clapp Osbun LTJG Evelyn Louise Williams Bailey Navy Women s Reserve WAVES World War II In 1986 LTJG Evelyn Louise Williams Bailey a WWII WAVE noted Keeping these records is the greatest thing The history is so marvelous One hundred years from now when people are studying the military history of the US to have records of the women who did participate would be very interesting To be among the first ones was an exciting thing Little did Bailey know it would not take one hundred years for this material to be useful Her story and those of her Dame sisters

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Oral_History/ohnscda.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    lights around here but the sky was completely gorgeous just full of stars But the first thing I remember is stepping off a truck and being able to give my husband a big hug CPT Nyland s husband had deployed to Bagram three months earlier and was later redeployed to Kandahar Interviewer Describe your present assignment what s your job what s your daily life like Nyland I m what you call a C2OPS Battle Captain I m responsible for taking all the intel ligence that comes out of this what the enemy is doing what we re capturing from the enemy and putting it into a big picture to keep the commanders informed where they need to go and who they need to go after Interviewer What is the best part about being in Afghanistan Nyland The best part is actually feeling we are making a difference here Over here you see your work get accomplished you know you help plan an operation You send it forward to the guys on the ground and you see the results of it You know we see us capturing the bad guys We see the bad guys being denied the terrain So it s just really encouraging and self satisfying to know that your work is actually making a difference in keeping everybody back in the States safe and they don t have to worry about everything that we re going through over here Return to top Air Force SSgt Crystal Whittaker visits with an Afghan child at Jangadam Village while providing perimeter security during the 455th Expeditionary Operations Group s delivery of humanitarian supplies Dec 31 US Air Force photo by TSgt Brian Davidson A1C Linette Grote US Air Force A1C Grote grew up in a small town Bailey CO the youngest of four children in a family that valued patriotism Restless after two years of college she decided My grandfather was passing away so I kind of wanted to follow in his footsteps and do something patriotic I felt that joining the Air Force was a good bet After basic training and a year of duty in South Carolina she deployed to Afghanistan assigned to satellite communications Interviewer Describe your arrival in Afghanistan Grote When I first got here the dust You could feel it in your nose You could feel it in your throat in your hair on your skin everywhere you went there was dust You couldn t get away from it As far as visuals I felt like I was in a movie in a war movie with everything having been blown up everything being pretty worn down Interviewer Describe your assignment here and your present living situation Grote I do not directly work with any other females I live in a tent at my workstation with four other guys and another female We have separated wooden walls Interviewer Describe some of the personal and professional challenges that you ve faced as a military woman in a

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Oral_History/ohoef.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    Stecher reviewed the affidavits of American servicemen who had been held prisoner in Japan by the Japanese She was the only woman in the office The purpose of my reading everybody s affidavit s was to see if they were legally sufficient to submit to the trials that were being at the Tribunal in Manila Each week I got a report of the sentences and I was never happy until I got a hanging They used to call me the hang man at the Pentagon After seven months in this assignment Stecher was transferred in 1947 to Frankfurt Germany where she handled repatriation of displaced persons for two Allied jails Life in postwar Germany was spartan Food was minimal and bartering legal or illegal was a way of life You worked by the barter system there which the army set up You brought cans of coffee cocoa Crisco and you bartered with a German who brought in some food There were times that we gave them coffee and cocoa and we would get a pocketbook or a vase Bartering on the black market was a different story Stecher recalls visiting an apartment with several other WACs and two soldiers We had to flash a signal to them that we were on the street so that they knew and we climbed up to the third floor When they opened the door of this apartment you couldn t see anything but silver platters pitchers tea sets coffee sets all over the floors they would say we want two cans of coffee and one can of Crisco We hid our purchases in the Army car that was driving us so we could take them through the MP block where we lived Then you either carried them with you when you left or you

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Oral_History/ohstecher.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    Brunswick paper for a boy to come to learn to fly for free and nobody came So the college president said Well she ll be down there on the water Nobody will know she s here Let s go with it We want the program After America entered the war in 1941 Wood Kelly tried to find a job where she could fly She was unsuccessful until she met Cochran They hit it off and Wood Kelly was soon on her way to England I went to England in a motor ship the S S Euler a small freighter We boarded in Montreal Canada we were held up in Quebec because of a recent attack at the mouth of the St Lawrence River and we had to wait until they cleaned it up Then we met our convoy of about 40 ships Once in England Wood Kelly unlike most of the other American women who flew for the ATA was eventually assigned to a multinational group of flyers who lived at the country home of Sir Lyndsey Everard an aviation enthusiast who maintained his own air field On paper her job looked simple fly planes from factories to the various air fields where they were needed In reality her task was far more complex We didn t have any radio There were no navigational aids and there were a lot of balloon barrages When we d go into a factory they d let down the balloon barrages in time for us to get out and then they d go up You just hoped that you didn t have some reason to have to return in a hurry Usually only bad weather or equipment malfunction grounded Wood Kelly or her colleagues but one day in 1944 she was grounded for a

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Oral_History/ohwood-kelly.html (2016-02-09)
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