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
How do you think women's roles were different from World War II to Vietnam?

Narrator: Joyce McCollum
Interviewed by: Josh Lavis
JL: OK, Do you think women's roles were different during World War II as compared to the Vietnam War period? 
JM: Yeah, by the time Vietnam came about, we were able to move into other than secretarial type work. We were able to be-- what do they call them, I forget what they're called now-- at the airports, where people are guiding planes, yeah
JL: I can't remember.
JM: All of the sudden I can't think of what that is.
JL: The air towers? 
JM: The Air Traffic Controller. Women were able to move into that. We were able to move into areas where we had to understand radar screens. We were moving into just about every field except combat-related fields, before I got out of the service in 1973: mechanics, jeep drivers, anything. During WWII, we were still the mother hens, I guess you might say, doing secretarial work, being cooks, not a whole lot of opportunities, or different fields for the women to go into.
Narrator: Judith Mente
Interviewer: Kyle Schneider
JM: I think the difference was that we were not allowed to go overseas. We were kept in the United States. Where today, women are in fighting. That's a big, big difference. The guy who graduated ahead of me in the medical class--I forget what it was called, some kind of flight medicine--he learned to parachute out of airplanes so he could go into war zones and a lot of things I didn't learn. And clearly he was a higher class but also he was male.

Photos courtesy of the family.

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Joyce McCollum

Joyce McCollum's medal