Annotated Bibliography for Vietnam
Brief Biographies of Narrators
Why and when did you join the military? What branch did you join?
Tell me about your boot camp and training experience? What were your first days in the service like? Describe your uniforms.
What attracted you to the branch of military that you joined? How did your family respond?
What was your job or assignment in the military?
Describe some of your memorable experiences during your time in military service.
How long did you serve in the military? What rank did you obtain?
Where were you stationed? What were the living conditions like?
What was it like to be a woman during the Korean War/ Vietnam War?
What was the most difficult time for you during your service?
Did your role as a woman change when you went into the military?
What were some of the major differences between WWII and the Vietnam War?
How do you think women's roles were different from World War II to Vietnam?
How did you feel about the peace movements during the Vietnam War?
How were women treated by male soldiers or military personnel?
Did you keep in touch with any friends after leaving the military?
Is there anything else that you would like to add that we haven't covered?
|What was it like to be a woman during the Korean War/ Vietnam War?
Narrator: Shirley Heckard
Interviewed by: Kristin Sowden
KS: What was it like to be a woman during the Korean War? Did you face any obstacles?
SH: There were always people that critiqued us. They'd look at us and make snide remarks, or some of the men Marines would go, "How do the big guns go BAM BAM." And I'd say, "What does that stand for, Beautiful American Marine?" Yeah, but they don't do that anymore. One of the commanders came out and he said, "I don't want you calling them BAMS!" [Slams fist] "That's it, that's an order!" that came from the top. But we're certainly accepted a lot more now.
KS: Did you feel underappreciated as a woman or did you feel underappreciated as a Marine?
SH: Well, no but I think today they have it a lot rougher than we did. 'Cause they still don't want to put women on the front lines, but everything is a front line now. It doesn't matter where you are. So I think we're appreciated now, more because then we were relieving a man to fight.
Narrator: Shirley Vega
Interviewed by: Delia Gallegos
DG: What was it like to be a woman during Vietnam?
SV: Well, I think was a confusing time for the country. But I signed up to do a job and I felt that doing it was important to me. Probably, it did not mean anything but it was important to me. It was a sad time when people were going over there and getting killed. It was very sad, and I think it really hit harder once I got out of the military, and my husband went to Vietnam. That was the first time that television came in to play, and they were there shooting footage and showing on TV actual fighting. You didn't know if you were watching your husband right there getting shot or killed. Sometimes we did not get mail for 45 days, then I would get a stack of letters. It was a very stressful time dealing with that. To see those guys come home being spit on and ridiculed because they did their job. Then the American people treated them like shit-- it was horrible.
Photos courtesy of the families.
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Shirley Heckard, September 2005