Vietnam Women Veterans
Stories from Vietnam Women Veterans Living in the East Valley as told by CGCC Students in partnership with Chandler Museum's Public History Program
Where were you stationed? What were the living conditions like?

Narrator: Linda Fulkerson
Interviewed by: Jessica Ethington
JE: Where were you stationed? What were living conditions like where you were stationed? Was there any danger associated with your job? 
LF: I started out at Bainbridge, MD for boot camp, and then went to N.A.T.T.C. Glencoe, Georgia for school. From there I was transferred to N.A.S. Jacksonville, Fla. I then did a year as a recruiter in Boise, ID. From there I was transferred to JAG in Wash. D.C. From there I went to a tenant command in Andrews A.F. Base, and finished my tour(with a side trip to Bethesda Naval Hospital) at Long Beach, CA. While at N.A.T.T.C. Glencoe we lived in old WWII barracks and they showed their age. In Jacksonville the barracks were lined up in an L shape with the first two the women's barracks. The bad thing was the windows in the rooms wouldn't close completely, and the women living in the  second barracks facing the men's barracks had to sleep with a pool cue or  baseball bat next to them because men would try and sneak in the window. After I made E-4, I moved off the base and shared a trailer with a friend. When I was transferred I never lived in the barracks again.  
It was dangerous at the time I lived in Jacksonville. It was the height of the Vietnam War and our base was constantly being assaulted by the Underground Weathermen. I was constantly being called from work or racked out of bed to go stand security at one of the gates or along the fence line to keep them from gaining access to the base. One night they did, and they set off a bomb in one of our outlying buildings. Fortunately it was no longer in use and no one was hurt. They then stepped up their attacks by attacking service personnel as they were coming and going from base. It got so bad the C.O. of the base ordered all military personnel to do whatever they had to do to disguise their uniforms when traveling to and from the base. It was also dangerous at that time to walk through major airports, train stations or bus stations by yourself while in uniform. At O'Hare it got so bad, military personnel had to remain at the gate; they just deplaned from there until they could build up a sufficient number that they could safely travel to the next gate to board their connecting flight. If they had a long layover then they had to go straight to the USO center and stay there until it was time to catch their next flight. If there weren't enough personnel to walk together then you had to stay at the gate until security arrived to escort you.
Narrator: Shirley Heckard
Interviewed by: Kristin Sowden
KS: So after boot camp where were you stationed? 
SH: Camp Pendleton
KS: How long were you stationed there? 
SH: I was there, ah until 1952 and then I got, I got the opportunity to extend my service for a year and [ah], was transferred to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. So, I was there for another 2 years until I was discharged in 1954. At that point I got married, September 22nd 1954 and was discharged in November.
KS: OK, um what were the living conditions like? Did you have your own place, a place on base? Did you live in the barracks?  
SH: You mean after I got married? (no, after um) Oh, we were in barracks. We were in Barracks at Camp Pendleton, and we were in barracks at Pearl Harbor.  
KS: So you had to share a room? 
SH: Yeah.
KS: Did you become close with your roommates? 
SH: Yeah some of them.
KS: Were there any dangers associated with your job? 
SH: [Um], No I don't think so.

Photos courtesy of the families.

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Linda Fulkerson in her Navy uniform

Shirley Heckard