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 did you feel about the peace movements during the Vietnam War?

Narrator: Joyce McCollum
Interviewed by: Josh Lavis
JL: How do you feel about the peace movements during the war? 
JM: (laughing) I was stationed at a presidio of San Francisco at the time that all the peace movements were going on for the Vietnam War. It's a two-edged sword, because I enjoyed going out and listening to Joan Baez, and her gathering, I loved her music. I enjoyed going into the Haight-Ashbury area of town, and watching the hippies, and seeing how that whole movement was going about their business. However it was common knowledge that whenever we left post, we were followed by CID [Criminal Investigation Command] to see if we were getting directly involved in any of these movements (laughing).
Narrator: Shirley Vega
Interviewed by: Delia Gallegos
DG:  How did you feel about the peace movement during the war? 
SV: My thoughts were irrelevant because I was in the Army serving my country and they were against it.  I guess at the time I did not like the fact that our country was at war, but I didn't like the fact that people were against our troops being there.  You cannot be against the troops. You have to support the troops, whether you do or do not like the war overall. I did not like the war either, but people shouldn't have spit on them when they came back.  That is wrong, so I resent the fact that our people were treating our troops the way they did when they came back.
Narrator: Lari Braun
Interviewed by: Byanca Nelson
BN: How did you feel about the peace movements during the war? 
LB: You know I think I was so far removed from [it] mainly because we didn't have media coverage like we have now. I remember the Jane Fonda movement. Again I didn't want to get over engaged in it, because this military commitment was my choice, and I just believe people sometimes complain about things that they necessarily don't understand. Was Vietnam the right thing for us? I don't know, but you know what? When they come into our country and kill 3,000 people we have to… (referring to 9-11) and that's part of being in the military.
Narrator: Judith Mente
Interviewer: Kyle Schneider
JM: You know, I didn't like Vietnam any better than anybody else, and I don't like Iraq any better, but I think that we all started off, thinking that...Vietnam was an ok thing,  at least in the military we did. My husband was a radar attendant on M-105's, and he flew out of Thailand into Vietnam on missions, and at that time, we didn't question Vietnam. It was later-- it was in the early 70's that we started to see it. And so I didn't object to the peace movement. The only [thing] that I didn't like was I wore a POW bracelet, a POW MIA bracelet, and there were people who thought that was flag waving. And so I think that is somewhat cruel.

Photos courtesy of the families.

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Joyce McCollum

Joyce McCollum's medal

Shirley Vega

Lari Braun with husband Doug Braun