Vietnam Women's Memorial, Washington, D. C. ©1993, Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation, Inc. Glenna Goodacre, Sculptor.

20th Anniversary Celebration

A Precious Time of Reunion

Women Veterans at the Vietnam Women's Memorial
[Women veterans at the Vietnam Women's Memorial - November 11, 2013]
Click on the photo to download as your own memento of our 20th Anniversary celebration!

Unveiling Vietnam Women's Memorial
[Sculptor Glenna Goodacre and Landscape Architect George Dickie help unveil the Vietnam Women's Memorial - November 11, 1993]
November 11, 2013 was a gloriously sunny day, much like the one 20 years earlier when brother and sister veterans gathered at the Vietnam Women's Memorial to dedicate that beautiful bronze tribute to the military and civilian women who served our nation during the Vietnam War. It hardly seems possible that 20 years have passed since the dedication of the Memorial on our National Mall across the grassy knoll from the apex of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Red Cross Donut Dollies
[Red Cross Donut Dollies reunited at the Memorial]
The American Red Cross Overseas Association kicked off our weekend with a November 8th Memorial Ceremony in the Memorial Garden at the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross. This Memorial Ceremony is held each year to remember and honor all Red Cross members who have passed away. Since Clara Barton gave aid to the soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, the American Red Cross has served the nation during every war and conflict. Today, the Red Cross has teams in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Djibuti, providing emergency communications for the U. S. military and their families. Visit the Association website to view an article about a Vietnam Donut Dolly who serves as a Disaster Volunteer.

Many hospital units, Special Services, and the American Red Cross took the opportunity to host reunions, and the men and women who served during that era came from all over the country to gather together, reminisce, and remember those who are no longer with us.

Jane Carson hosted a reunion of the 312th and 91st Evacuation Hospitals November 10th. Hospital personnel, spouses and partners attended.

Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing
[Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing, Class of 1969]
Army Special Services
Red Cross
[Kate O'Hare Palmer, Jane Carson, Patti Muehling Ehline, Rosie Winkler Smith, F. Martha Green, Amy Lazar (Red Cross, seated)]

Remembering Women's Service

A Piece of My Heart
The Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation hosted a reception and two performances of the nationally renowned play about women's service in Vietnam, "A Piece of My Heart," by Shirley Lauro. The performances on Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th were presented by Infinite Variety Productions and were held at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

Vietnam Women's Theater Group
Veterans and theater-goers both had a wonderful experience. Each performance brought out visible and audible signs of recognition and acknowledgement from the audiences, ranging from laughter to tears. Even those who had seen the play before found something new—a more stark presentation, for example, that was most effective in its simplicity. Cast members included Ashley Adelman, Danielle Beckmann, Jake Cullens, Larissa Dzegar, Maria Makenna, Elizabeth McNelis, Petol Weekes. Carina Don served as Stage Manager. Howard Hill managed the sound, and Yu Han Huang designed the set. Bridget Leak and Norma Medina directed. The theatre group donated their time and talent to offer these performances to the very persons they portrayed onstage.

Throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, the VWMF sponsored the StoryCorps Oral History Program to collect oral histories from veterans. Twelve very special stories were collected and will be filed with the Library of Congress Veterans Oral History Program. This effort was done in conjunction with a grant StoryCorps received called "Military Voices." We were honored to partner with them to preserve the stories of women who served in the Vietnam War era.

The VWMF Giftshop

20th Anniversary Tote Bag
20th Anniversary Drawstring Bag
The Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation giftshop opened for business Sunday, November 10th to offer a variety of special gifts commemorating the occasion and offering a permanent remembrance of the Vietnam Women's Memorial. Each shopper who made a purchase left with a special 20th anniversary tote bag in one of two styles. One is a traditional tote bag and the other a drawstring bag that can be worn as a backpack, or carried as a tote. These bags are now available by mail order, or from our online marketplace, for $10 each.

Sculptor Glenna Goodacre
Also new to the giftshop, was the recently published volume by Sculptor Glenna Goodacre. In her own words, sculptor Glenna Goodacre describes the inspiration for, and creation of, her unforgettable bronze sculptures, including the Vietnam Women's Memorial. This beautifully crafted volume is rich in touching photographs of her magnificent works of art. This volume sells for $45 and 50% of the revenue generated will benefit the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation.

Over the past year, the Vietnam Women's Memorial has enjoyed a special friendship with two extraordinary professional photographers. Eric Long created a beautiful collection of images from the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, including the Wall, the Three Soldiers Statue, and the Vietnam Women's Memorial. This work is available as a postcard and as a poster from The Vietnam Women's Memorial giftshop. Eric has added an image of the Women in Military Service to America Memorial to his collection, as well as a postcard pack of sixteen images of the military memorials in the Washington D. C. area. Both of these are available at our Marketplace.

Women in Military Service for America Memorial Postcard Memorials Postcard The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Postcard

Vietnam Women's Memorial 20th Anniversary
Rod Hill generously volunteered his photography skills to create four very extraordinary posters commemorating the Vietnam Women's Memorial 20th Anniversary. One of the images he created is available from us as a 5 X 7 print and as a 12 X 18 poster. A few of these prints remain available to you by calling (866.822.8963) or emailing us directly ( Visit Rod's website for access to all of his special prints of the Vietnam Women's Memorial and other very special sites (

Beverly Thompson and Evangeline Jamison
The Colonel is a Lady
Several veterans offered their own books for sale at the giftshop. Beverly Thompson was present to sign copies of her biography of LTC (Ret) Evangeline Jamison. "Jamie" served in Vietnam and was a leader in the movement to establish the Vietnam Women's Memorial. She served on the Board of the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project, and for a time, she served as its chairperson. Visit the book's website and find it also on Amazon.

Decoration for Valor
Also available at the giftshop was "Decoration for Valor" by Joe Cassilly. This book is a novel about the experiences of a Vietnam War veteran, a nurse and a student nurse he encounters while assigned to Walter Reed for rehabilitation. Nurses who read the book say: "A beautiful love story. A story of survival...A paralyzed veteran's victory over unspeakable obstacles. A nurse learns how it all turns out for a soldier that went home so our soldier patients struggle and survive after they leave us."

Many additional gifts related to the Vietnam Women's Memorial are available from our Marketplace.

Vietnam Wall Volunteers Honor the Women Who Served

Vietnam Women's Memorial Volunteers
Wall Volunteers serve and lovingly care for the three acre site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and all its visitors. They assist visitors at the Wall, the Vietnam Women's Memorial, the Three Servicemen statue, and the In Memory Plaque. Their yellow jackets and caps identify them as friends and helpers. They honored the 20th Anniversary of the Vietnam Women's Memorial and all the women who served with a special ceremony and Wreath Laying at the Vietnam Women's Memorial on Sunday, November 10th. We are eternally grateful to them for their constant vigilance and caring.

Vietnam Women's Memorial Friends

Reading of the Names

Reading of the Names
One of the most personal and solemn events of the Vietnam Women's Memorial 20th Anniversary Celebration occurred on the evening of Sunday, November 10th. Family members, friends, and supporters of the Vietnam Women's Memorial gathered to remember women veterans of the Vietnam era who have passed away in the years since the war. Some of these women died during the war; most have left us in the last few years. All of them are remembered.

Reading of the Names
As supporters read the names, we reflected on the lives that have been lost, but we also reflected on the bonds that held women veterans together over the years. Husbands read the names of their wives; daughters read the names of their mothers; women read the names of their wartime friends. Many of these women were instrumental in the decade-long struggle to build the Vietnam Women's Memorial. As we gathered in honor of these women, we celebrated their service and we honored their legacy.


Candlelight Ceremony
The Candlelight Ceremony is a special tradition at the Vietnam Women's Memorial. At this very precious time, men and women gathered to reflect on the special meaning of the memorial to them, their friends and families. Jake Singer, Vietnam veteran and a member of the Navajo Nation, opened with a Pipe Ceremony to honor the Memorial.

Vietnam Women's Memorial Candlelight Ceremony

Dr. Sandra Lockney Davis (Special Services Vietnam '67-'68), Suzanne Fortune (American Red Cross, '70-'71), and Kay Bauer (US Navy, '66-'67) offered reflections. Col (Ret) Pat Gorman, USA (Vietnam '67-'68) spoke eloquently about what the Memorial means to her.

Candlelight Ceremony
A special friend of the Memorial, the late Rod McBrien, wrote a song to honor the women who served, "Light a Candle, Say A Prayer," which was beautifully presented by actress and singer Kera O'Bryon. Kera sang "Sleep Well My Sisters," also written by Rod McBrien.

Poetry has been an extraordinary avenue of expression for the women and men who served and endured in Vietnam. Jane Carson ('69-'70) read a poem by Maude Smith, Chief Nurse at the hospital where an Army Nurse was killed by hostile fire, "Yes, I am Sharon Lane, Do you Remember Me?"

John Sommer ('68) read a poem by Darrell Nichols, a Vietnam Veteran, "Angels of Vietnam." Following a Moment of Silence to honor our Sisters, Christopher Jackson offered a bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace." Mark Elrod ('70-'71) closed with Taps.


Every Memorial Day and Veterans Day, the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation conducts "Storytelling at the Vietnam Women's Memorial: In Their Own Words." Stories are scheduled throughout the day, which enables anyone touched by the Vietnam Women's Memorial, or by their own or another's service, to tell their story. Recently, we have begun videotaping these stories, making them available to the world through our website. On this anniversary, scheduled presentations offered a wide variety of tales.
Francis Whitebird Francis Whitebird
Francis Whitebird, an Army veteran, told his story and that of his good friend, Paul Critchlow. Francis saved Paul's life in Vietnam and they've been fast friends ever since. [View Video]
Dr. Sandra Lockney Davis Dr. Sandra Lockney Davis
Dr. Sandra Lockney Davis served in U. S. Army Special services in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. She's the Author of "So, What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? Seoul to Saigon." [View Video]
Colonel Doug Moore COL. Doug Moore
COL. Doug More of the U.S. Army spoke of his experiences in Vietnam from 1964 to 1965 and 1968 to 1969. COL. Moore flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam. He spoke glowingly of the miracle work done by the nurses he encountered. [View Video]
David Chung David Chung
David Chung, a member of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation, served in Vietnam from 1971 to 1972. He helped drive the FedEx truck that took the Vietnam Women's Memorial around the nation on its trip from New Mexico to its permanent home on the National Mall. On this special occasion, David remembered his late wife Cheryl, who served as a nurse in Vietnam. [View Video]

Carol Kirk Carol Kirk
Carol Kirk served with the Army in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. She spoke about her time in Vietnam and what it was like, day to day, for an Army Nurse. [View Video]
Alan Wallace Alan Wallace
Alan Wallace served with the Navy in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 and was also a firefighter at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. He spoke about both of those experiences. [View Video]
Marsha Four Marsha Four
Marsha Four was with the Army in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. She serves now as Vice President of the Vietnam Veterans of America. [View Video]
Ann Kelsey Ann Kelsey
Ann Kelsey served with Army Special Services Libraries in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. She presented the prepared remarks of Cathleen Cordova who also served in Vietnam. Cathleen unfortunately had to remain at home due to a recent injury. [View Video]
Rachel Manteuffel Rachel Manteuffel
Rachel Manteuffel recently won the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her article in The Washingtonian Magazine, "The Things They Leave Behind." She wrote of all the extraordinary mementos left behind by visitors to The Wall. [View Video]
Allen Hoe Allen Hoe
Allen Hoe, a member of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation, served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. He spoke of his experience and that of his son, who lost his life in Iraq while serving with the Army. [View Video]
Diane Carlson Evans
Evangeline Jamison
[Jamie, November 11, 2003; photo by Patrick Hughes]
Diane Carlson Evans
Diane Carlson Evans, Founder and Chair of the Board of the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation and Vietnam veteran (1968-1969), offered remarks regarding the special blessings of this 20th Anniversary. She described the crusade for the Memorial and the many individuals who made the Memorial possible. She paid special tribute to LTC (Ret) Evangeline Jamison (Jamie), who passed away just this past October. Jamie served during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. She was a prominent force in the march toward a Memorial and in the years since speaking out for women veterans. [View Video]

Brenda Jansons Brenda Jansons
Brenda Jansons served as an Army nurse in Vietnam in 1968. She spoke passionately about her experiences. [View Video]
Emily Strange Emily Strange
Emily Strange served with the American Red Cross in Vietnam (1968-1969). She's extremely proud of her Donut Dolly service and has often expressed her feelings and her experiences through her poetry. [View Video]
Carol Rogers, Carol Brown, and Barbara Kautz Carol Rogers, Carol Brown, and Barbara Kautz
Carol Rogers, Carol Brown, and Barbara Kautz served together with the Army in Vietnam, 1970-1971. They spoke of their experiences at the 24th Evacuation Hospital. [View Video]

Linda Pugsley Linda Pugsley
Linda Pugsley served as an Air Force nurse in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 and again in 1972. She later left nursing to become a minister. [View Video]
Edie Meeks Edie Meeks
Edie Meeks, a member of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation, served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. She spoke of her experience and of the time since the war and her work on behalf of the Memorial. [View Video]
Susan Hunt Babinski Susan Hunt Babinski
Susan Hunt Babinski served with Army in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. She worked in a civilian casualty hospital. She spoke of her personal traumas and growth.[View Video]
Mary Tindall Mary Tindall
Mary Tindall also served with the Army in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. She was at the 3rd Field Hospital in Saigon. [View Video]
Julie Kink Julie Kink
Julie Kink's brother, David, was killed in action in Vietnam on August 3, 1969, at the age of 19. She spoke fondly of her brother and of the men who served with him. Just seven at the time of his loss, she spoke of trying to get to know her brother better through the men with whom he served. [View Video]

Sarah Blum Sarah Blum
Sarah Blum served with the Army in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. She has studied women and the impact of PTSD on women in her scholarly work since her service. [View Video]
Nancy Smoyer and Rene Johnson Nancy Smoyer and René Johnson
Nancy Smoyer ('67-'68) and René Johnson ('69-'70), served with the American Red Cross in Vietnam. They demonstrated many of the things Donut Dollies did with the troops in Vietnam to break up the seriousness of war and bring comfort to them. [View Video]

Veterans Day Ceremony at the Wall Recognized the 20th Anniversary of the Vietnam Women's Memorial

As the sun broke through the clouds and turned trees brilliant in autumn colors, people from around the nation gathered for the Veterans Day Observance at the Wall as the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation's (VWMF) 1993 Dedication theme song "Dances with Wolves" resounded from the speakers.

Jan Daley
Kera O'Bryon
Co-sponsored by the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the National Park Service, the observance included entertainment by Jan Daley, former USO entertainer for the Bob Hope Tour in Vietnam, and Kera O'Bryon, an Emmy nominated actress, singer and voice talent who donated her time once again to perform during the VWMF's Anniversary activities.

With Diane Carlson Evans as the Master of Ceremonies, the observance began with opening remarks from Jan C. Scruggs, a stunning presentation of colors by the Joint Forces Color Guard Military District of Washington, and the Pledge of Allegiance by Robbin Owen of the National Park Service.

Joint Forces Color Guard Military District of Washington Diane Carlson Evans Jan Scruggs

Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer
Chaplain Linda Pugsley
Diane introduced Chaplain Linda Pugsley, USAF Vietnam veteran, to give the invocation. Robert A. Vogel, Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, welcomed the visitors to the National Mall. Featured speaker Colonel Margarethe "Grethe" Cammermeyer, USA (Ret.), Vietnam veteran of the Army Nurse Corps, shared memories of courage, sacrifice and triumph of the human spirit over challenging circumstances of an unpopular war.

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) saluted the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation's efforts with his remarks of gratitude to the nation's women veterans. Chris Jackson concluded the ceremony with "Amazing Grace" on the Bagpipes. A Military District of Washington trumpeter ended the 2013 Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Vietnam Women's Memorial with Taps.

Perhaps the most poignant moment during the ceremony was when Diane asked the military and civilian women veterans to stand, or wave their arms, and be recognized. The crowd thundered their applause for these women. On that special Veterans Day, we indeed saluted the patriotic women who served before us, with us during the Vietnam era, and those currently serving our nation. We are indebted and so very grateful to the many volunteers, participants and sponsors who helped to make the 20th Anniversary Commemoration unforgettable.

Former Army Nurse Reunites with a Former Patient at the Vietnam Women's Memorial

Army Nurses
The Vietnam Women's Memorial is a site known for reunions and chance meetings. The 20th Anniversary of the dedication of the Memorial was no exception. During the Vietnam War, former combat soldier, Larry Sudweeks, was severely injured and spent 45 days in the 93rd Evacuation Hospital in Long Binh. When he recovered enough to be evacuated back to the States, he left without having a chance to thank the nurses who kept him alive. He didn't even know their names. Over the years he thought about them often.

Annie Koch Voigt and Larry Sudweeks
[Annie Koch Voigt of Gilbertsville, Pa., is embraced by Larry Sudweeks of Brentwood, Calif., during the 20th Anniversary of the Vietnam Women's Memorial. (photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)]
Meanwhile, Annie Koch Voigt, one of the nurses who had served at the 93rd Evacuation Hospital, wondered about him, too. Most patients only spent a few days at her hospital, but Larry could not be moved and stayed there for over 6 weeks. Part of her wondered what had happened to him after he left Vietnam, and part of her did not want to know. Finally, after decades of wondering, she looked up Sudweeks and found him in California. She sent him a picture from Vietnam of him, her, and other nurses taken on Easter Sunday. In the card she sent, she described his injuries and her memories of him. As soon as Larry read it, he knew it was the nurse he had thought about so many times over the years.

They planned to meet at the Vietnam Women's Memorial during the 20th Anniversary celebration of the dedication of that Memorial. At the memorial, Larry, his wife Loretta, and Annie hugged and Larry finally got to say "thank you." Loretta believes this reunion gave Larry the healing that he needed for so many years.