Vietnam: In Their Own Words

May 27, 2019
Vietnam: In Their Own Words
Story Telling at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial

May 27, 2019

Emcee – Marsha Guenzler-Stevens, PhD – Eastern National Advisory VWM Board Member

List of Presenters
9:00 a.m.

Joeanne Thomas
Currently is the Veteran Wellness Assistant in the Office of Student
Engagement and Veteran Student Life at the University of Maryland. A Marine Corps veteran, she is committed to the wellness of our Veterans and she is pursuing her PhD in psychology in hopes to improve the outcome of those who have served and help reduce veteran suicide.

9:30 a.m.

MAJ Michelle O’Neill, U.S. Army
U.S. Army Emergency Room Nurse currently assigned to Fort Belvoir
Community Hospital in Virginia. She has over 20 years of military service.

10:00 a.m.

Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Sharon Bannister, U.S. Air Force
Gold Star Daughter of U.S. Air Force Capt. Stephen Rusch, Sharon is the
Deputy Assistant Director, Education and Training, Defense Health Agency, Defense Health Headquarters, Falls Church, Virginia. Additionally she is the Assistant Surgeon General for Dental Services.

10:30 a.m.

Lawrence Shepherd
Former Chief Operating Officer of Rise Against Hunger, a non-profit dedicated to ending world hunger. He is an Army Lieutenant Colonel with 25 years military service including combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, commanding a Battalion. Lawrence served as Deputy Brigade Commander in Afghanistan and Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy.

11:00 a.m.

Maryna Misewicz
Superintendent Veterans’ Assistance Commission of Stephenson County,
Illinois. Served in the U.S. Army (1966- 1976). Maryna served at the U.S. Army Vietnam (USARV) Headquarters at Long Binh from January, 1968 to March, 1970. She worked for the Defense Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 1972 to 1973. She also served at Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.; Fort Belvoir, Virginia; and the Pentagon.

11:30 a.m.

Renee Garris
Associate Instructor at Germanna Community College in Fredericksburg, VA and an Adjunct Professor at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, VA. She will be speaking on the experience of nurses in the Vietnam War.

1:00 p.m.

Ceremony at The Wall
Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Foundation ceremony speakers include Edie Meeks, a Vietnam Veteran and former board member of Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation. Keynote speakers are sisters Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Sharon Bannister and Rebecca Rusch Gold Star Daughters.

Story Telling at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial is an educational program presented by Eastern National and the National Park Service. We commemorate and honor those who served in the Vietnam War as well as in more recent conflicts.

We gratefully acknowledge the assistance with sound provided by Ohm Productions.

In 2015 the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation joined Eastern National. We are dedicated to honoring women who served during the Vietnam era. For additional information on the Memorial or its products and projects, including other educational programs or research on women who served during the Vietnam era, you are invited to visit the Vietnam Women’s Memorial website at Donations to the Vietnam Women’s Memorial which support these and other programs are always appreciated. To donate to the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, please write to:Vietnam Women’s Memorial Fund, c/o Eastern National
470 Maryland Drive, Suite 1
Fort Washington, PA 19034

Or email:

please contact Nick Miano, Regional Manager for Eastern National at (703) 837-9099 or via email at You may also contact the Memorial’s Advisory Board Chair Diane Carlson Evans via e-mail at

If you or someone you care for finds that they need help coping with the aftermath of Vietnam, you are invited to call the Veterans’ Administration at 1-800-273-8255. They will assist you, including connecting you to the counseling services offered by Vet Centers located throughout the United States.