An Army Nurse Corps Veteran Answers
Questions from a High School class in 1996

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Women were and still are eligible for all medals the men receive with the exception of the CIB (this may have changed with the increasing role of women in combat; also I understand that there is a movement underway to award CIB to Dustoff Medics - although the were not assigned to combat units, they clearly were in harm's way in the field)..

Here are just a few who received honors during the war in Vietnam....

I know of at least three women who received the Soldier's Medal for Heroism in Vietnam...many received the bronze star ... Sharon Lane received received the Bronze Star with a "V" for Valor, the Gallantry Cross with Palm, the Purple Heart, and National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medals, and the (South) Vietnamese Gallantry Cross (with Palm). Lt Patricia Carr, a coworker of Sharon's was also awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in that same incident (Sarnecky, 1999: 378)..

In 1965, four Navy nurses were awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in the Brix explosion (Sterner, DW,1997: 311). Sp5c. Sheron L. Green, received the Purple Heart- the only WAC to receive that medal since World War II (Morden, 2000:253).

Major Thomas Skonieczny, the unit Chief Nurse at the 6th Convalescent Center in CRB,was slightly wounded during the sapper attack and was awarded the Purple Heart (Sarnecky, 1999:379).

Two nurses were awarded the Soldier's Medal for heroism ... In July 1970, 1Lt Diane M Lindsey of the 95th Evacuation Hospital in Da Nang, heroically restrained a soldier who had pulled the pin from a live grenade and thrown the weapon. She and a male officer controlled the soldier and convinced him that he should relinquish a second grenade, thereby preventing numerous additional casualties. She was the first African-American women to be recognized with the award (Soldier's Medal) and the second Army nurse to earn the medal in Vietnam. Lt. Col. Marian Tierney was also presented the Soldier Medal for courageously recovering and caring for those wounded in an aircraft accident in which she was herself injured in 1966 (Sarnecky, 1999: 381). Karen Offut also received the Soldier's Medal, albeit 30 years late, for her heroism in rescuing a Vietnamese family from a burning building.

Captain Catherine A. Brajkovich received the Army Commendation Medal for heroism for alerting residents of a bachelor officers hotel in Saigon of a fire in the building. Maj. Gloria A. S. Olson, a journalist and photographer with the Office of the Chief of Information, MACV, received the Air Medal for having flown in the equivalent of 127 aerial combat missions totaling 198 air hours during her tour in Vietnam. Maj. Sherian G. Cadoria received the Air Medal for meritorious achievement while in Cam Rahn Bay (Morden 2000:253).

References Cited:

Morden BJ (2000). Vietnam: WAC Strength; WAC Standards in The Women's Army Corp 1945-1978. Special Series by the Center of Military History, United States Army. Washington DC, Government Printing Office. Ch IX, pp 217-255.

Sarnecky, Mary T (1999). A History of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Sterner DM. In and Out of Harm's Way: A History of the Navy Nurse Corps. Elton-Wolf Publishing. 1998

 

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My Vietnam Related Websites:
button Women in Vietnam ~ Read about ALL the women who served . . .
The Irish on the Wall ~ An effort to locate the Irish who died in Vietnam
button Tim O'Brien's Home Page ~ National Book Award Winner and Americal Vet

button Emily's Poetry ~ By a Red Cross Donut Dolly
button All About Vietnam    ~ An annotated bibliography of books about Vietnam for sale thru Amazon Worldwide!
button Photos from a Holts' Military History Tour ~ My trip to Vietnam, February 1998

My Other Websites:
Maybe Later . . . ~ My Creative Nonfiction
Irish in Korea ~ Irish men and women who gave their lives in the Korean War
Literature of the Korean War ~ Don't let the literature be forgotten
Samuel Pepys ~ One of my favorite authors
Chicago Theatre Z - A ~ This is the best theater town in the country!
Soccer Literature ~ I'm a fan and I read
O'Leary Lantern ~ Fire! Fire! Fire!
Gil Thorp ~ THE Coach (apologies to The General!)
Poetry of the First World War ~ Owen, Hardy and others
Chi-COW-go ~ Cowz plus Commentary (this used to be a cow town)
Graham Fulton, Scottish Poet ~ Charles Manson Auditions for the Monkees

Other Important Websites:
The Truth About Caroline ~ a  really good Young Adult book by my niece, Stacey
M. Lane Grosh
Remember Oklahoma City
The Civil Service and Military will NEVER forget!

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Page last updated July 18, 2007