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Journeys of Discovery: Fort Hunter Liggett honors women who served in Vietnam

Even though Mary Beth Breen Collins was a pacifist, her curiosity about the war spurred her to sign up for an 18-month stint as associate director of the USO Club in Di An, Vietnam, where she served from January 1969 to June 1970.

Fort Hunter Liggett Army Reserve base in Monterey County recently hosted a special event, in conjunction with Women’s History Month, honoring the women who served in Vietnam.

Following a special commendation presented by base commander Colonel Kerry Norman for her 18-month tour of duty with the USO, correspondent Tom Wilmer visited with Ms. Breen Collins.

More than 2,709,000 troops served in Vietnam between 1964 and 1975. Throughout the Vietnam War-era, more than 265,000 women served in the armed forces of the United Statesm, and an unsung cadre who volunteered to serve in Vietnam were the civilian women who worked for the USO. During the Vietnam War, 23 USO clubs served the troops in Vietnam and Thailand.

Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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