Category Archives: history

Women Vietnam Vets – Loved and Not Forgotten

 

When I think of Vietnam Vets, I picture gnarly men with ravaged bodies and wounded souls who wrongfully weren’t accepted back into our society as heroes like our beloved WWII vets. They fought an ugly battle overseas, but arrived home to find a new war on their hands. They were still the enemy, now to their own beloved country.

It’s one of those time periods in American history that still causes me personal outrage.

The vets attempted to get medical help, jobs and an education while battling personal demons and war protesters. The  war in America was as devastating as the one they had just fought.  The American government made them go and the American public didn’t want them back.

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In looking through old pics when the Vietnam Traveling Wall (blogged here)  I realized like most Americans, I was leaving out the American women who served, suffered and/or died in Vietnam. I took pictures of the flowers and of some of the tags, but never revisited these memories.

Until now.

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There are names of eight women chiseled into the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, also referred to as The Wall.

In all 265,000 women volunteered;  10,000 of those women served within combat.

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1LT Sharon Ann Lane, USA was a nurse who died when her hospital was hit by a Soviet rocket.

On his website, Gary Jacobson shares his personal experience of being injured during Vietnam War. “Sharon Ann Lane truly epitomized that unselfish healing I received. She tenderly administered to the slings and arrows of that most terrible beast called war. She gave of her very essence in this greatest act of love, meting out her healing to nourish and restore not only abundant physical wounds, but also by her goodness assuaging insidious mental afflictions that a treacherous war implants in the minds of “boys next door.”

A further biography is here. A blog post about Lane is here.

I didn’t have pictures from the memorial of the other seven, but they are listed below.  Click on each picture to read more about their lives and their contributions.

 

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The first women POW was a missionary doctor.

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Dr. Vietti was a Christian Missionary Alliance medical missionary who died doing what she wanted to do from the time she was a child growing up in Bogota, Columbia, the daughter of a traveling geologist.

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Dr. Vietti is shown during surgery.

 

(All images lead to informative websites.  I encourage you to grab some Kleenex and click on each icon.Take your time.)

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From a page called Many Women Served.   Follow various links to see the ways different women served.

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This memorial was dedicated November 11, 1993

Those that were in Vietnam speak more powerfully than I can. Read more by clicking the links below:

Again, all images below are hyperlinks to read more about the men and  women who served during the Vietnam War. Honor them by  keeping their stories alive.

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The women from Vietnam who returned ended up missing in action in America. They were not welcomed home, nor were they hailed as heroes.

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They rarely told anybody they served in Vietnam. Many didn’t know they were entitled to GI education benefits. Many gave birth to children with health issues.

They hid in the shadows of their own horrific memories and kept their pain to themselves , while never forgetting the permanent death stench in their nostrils, the terrified cries of the dying and the heaps of mutilated flesh.

America makes mistakes. But I believe we are different as a nation even in our failures. When our errors are admitted and discovered, we try to rectify the situation. We can’t undo the damage, but maybe in the future, we will be quicker to see our errors and quicker to relieve the suffering of those who suffered for us.

Our diligence and determination in honoring the women of Vietnam should match  the diligence and determination in which they served.

We must assure these women of Vietnam –

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Making your home sing Mondays

Failure is in the Eyes of the Beholder

 

The bigger you dream, the harder you fail.  If you dare share your vision publically, you fail publically. Some of the world’s greatest ambition has been tomatoed by public mockery and shame.

Take this quiz.  How well acquainted are you with these men who dared to try?

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These men were tormented to their faces, behind their backs, in newspapers and in public forums. The only thing bigger than the opposition they faced was their vision to create.

For those of us with unfulfilled life passions and visions, what motivates us beyond the fear of failure? The hope of success.

Let’s see how well you identified these Feats Labeled Failures by public opinion.

1.  In  1807, Robert Fulton’s steamboat Clermont traveled up the Hudson River from New York harbor to Albany, NY. The folly was the first steamboat used with commercial success and sparked the beginning of steam navigation around the world.

2. The “Big Ditch” is now known as the Erie Canal and Governor Dewitt Clinton’s digging was not in vain.  The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor honors and preserves it as one of the most important works of civil engineering and construction in the United States.

 

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3. The “eyesore” is more commonly called the Eiffel Tower and Gustave Eiffel’s architectural wonder is synonymous with romance and France.   It is eye candy to over six million visitors each year.

4. George Washington Gale Ferris, the man with  wheels in his head,  sketched his dream for friends over dinner one night.  Introduced at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, The Wheel carried over a million and a half riders who raved about this experience the rest of their lives.  Those wheels no longer churn only in his head, but on the five major continents in the world, where they’re still trying to build bigger and better Ferris Wheels for thrill seekers of all ages.

 

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5.  Architect John Russell Pope didn’t live to see the completion of the Jefferson Memorial, but his vision, when completed, silenced the voices of dissent and daily inspires Americans.

 

You might not have known the opposition these great men faced, but you know the fruit of their work and how generations have benefited from their tenacity.  They ignored the voices and fulfilled their passion.

They could not be stopped.
They could not be dissuaded.

Even in Christianity, inspired people are mocked by those who should be supporting them.  The woman who performed the greatest act of worship was criticized for her waste.

 

Matthew 26
7 a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head… 8 But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? 9 For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”
The Lord Jesus defended her and told the disciples her deeds would never be forgotten.
10 But Jesus said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. 11 For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. 12 When she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13 Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

The other women brought their anointments too late.  Jesus was no longer in the grave.  The disciples didn’t bother coming at all.  This woman  believed the prophecies and prepared her Savior for burial, while fingers pointed and voices scorned.

This woman and these men were only failures in the eyes of their contemporary critics. History does not view them in that same light.

We hear those same voices of mockery and doubt, along with another voice.  That voice of the enemy who was defeated at the Cross and wants us to live defeated lives. We passionately desire to use our gifts and abilities to serve the Lord and to impact the present and the future. What springs up within us should not be silenced or stilled. We must accomplish the burnings of our hearts in answer to the calling  from the Lord.

What you leave behind will bless others.  Parents leave behind their children. Writers and artists leave behind their creations in physical form.  Counselors, preachers, teachers and Bible study leaders leave immeasurable impact that follows to future generations.

We can use our gifts and talents to leave behind our own monuments of inspiration, vehicles of usefulness and models for future generations.  Or, we can bury our gifts and talents in the sands of opposition.

Do not listen to the voices of mockery on the outside, the voice of doubt from the inside or the voice of the enemy. Hear the Voice that is calling you to serve Him with the gifts He gave you.

Dare to leave your mark of faith on the landscape of history.