Vietnam: In Their Own Words

May 28, 2018
Vietnam: In Their Own Words
Story Telling at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial

May 28, 2018

Emcee – Marsha Guenzler-Stevens PhD

List of Presenters
9:00 a.m.

Matthew Furman
National Park Service

“Vietnam through my father’s eyes. My father served in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1970. His experiences during and after the conflict helped to shape me as a person and an interpretive park ranger. For this reason, I feel the greatest personal connection to this memorial.”

Ranger Matthew Furman has been a park ranger for the past 17 years. His focus is on World War II and the Cold War and he has given many specialized talks on these subjects during his tenure in the park.

9:20 a.m.

Catherine Cilfone
National Park Service. Remembers Pablo Benitez Garza who was killed in Pleiku, Vietnam, November 1969.

Catherine Alvarado Cilfone is a park guide for the National Park Service. She came to DC in 2015 and is thrilled that the National Mall & Memorial Parks is now her office. Catherine is a 7th generation Texan and daughter of a WWII bombardier. She has a passion for uncovering the forgotten or untold stories of history that make up our great society. She is a fluent Spanish speaker who loves engaging new audiences. Catherine enjoys tennis, hiking, and traveling with her 27 year-old daughter.

On May 28th, 2018, Catherine shared with us some memories from her high school friend, Gabriel Garza, who lost his father in Vietnam. Pablo Benitez Garza was killed in Pleiku, Vietnam, November 1969. He was the father of three small children.

9:40 a.m.

Jeffrey Cole
National Park Service. Honors family members who served in Vietnam.

Jeff told stories of his grandfather who served as a mechanic and his uncles who served in intelligence and as an engineer during the Vietnam War.

10:00 a.m.

Kerry Pardue
U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1968-1969. Chairman of the Board of National Association of Medics-Corpsmen 2017-2018
Author “Poems in the Keys of Life: Reflections of a Combat Medic.”

10:30 a.m.

Anne Devney
Commander, U.S. Navy 1968-1989 (Retired), Vietnam 1971-1974
Career posts include St. Albans Naval Hospital and Iwakuni Japan, former board member of Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation.

10:45 a.m.

Marsha Guenzler-Stevens PhD
Advisory Group Vietnam Women’s Memorial for Eastern National, Former Vice President of the Board VWMF. Spoke on the upcoming 25th anniversary of the memorial.

11:00 a.m.

Jane McCarthy
1Lt U.S. Army Nurse Corps, Vietnam 1970-1971, served in the 95th Evacuation Hospital in DaNang. “My Reflections on Serving as an Army Nurse in Vietnam.”
Former member Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation board of directors.

11:30 a.m.

Renee Garris
Lives in Richmond, VA. An Associate Instructor at Germanna Community College in Fredericksburg, VA and an Adjunct Professor at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, VA. A fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanities in conjunction with Reynolds and a guest lecturer at the Virginia War Memorial. She researches and lectures about the contribution of women in various roles throughout this pivotal time period.

In March of 2018 she delivered the inaugural lecture in recognition of National Vietnam War Veterans Day that highlighted the roles that women played both as service personnel and civilians.

At the storytelling event, she spoke about women photographers and journalists covering the Vietnam War.

1:00 p.m.

Ceremony at The Wall

Story Telling at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial is an educational program presented by Eastern National and the National Park Service. On this past Memorial Day remembrance, we heard the stories of those who served during the Vietnam era. Speakers honored their loved ones and told the history of those who served. The lessons learned in the past of bravery and the desire for peace, courage, and healing are reflected in the remarks of these individuals. 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 you are invited to visit the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Web site 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:

If you would like to participate in the Story Telling program for Veteran’s Day 2018, please contact Stacy Madalena at 703-837-0746 or via email at You may also contact the Memorial’s Advisory Board Chair Diane Carlson Evans via e-mail at

Veteran’s Day 2018 will be the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Please plan on joining us for a very special weekend celebration on November 10th and 11th 2018. Visit our website for more information.

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.