Female Veterans speak to AAUW
AAUW of Tehachapi
November 21, 2020
The November monthly meeting of American Association of University happened to be veterans Day, so it was most appropriate that guest speakers were two women who served in the US Army between 1975 and 1985. Nancy Piercy who lives in Tehachapi was joined by Donelle Evans who lives in Portland, Oregon. This long-distance meeting was possible because AAUW is meeting on Zoom while Covid restrictions are in effect.
Both women joined the Army at an early age. Nancy was 20 years old and wanted to live overseas and see the sights and needed an income to do this. For two years she was stationed in Mountain Home, Idaho, where she completed basic training. Then she was sent to Athens, Greece, where she was involved with Base Operations and held a responsible position. She was also able to explore the area, see Greek ruins and learn about that country. She claimed it was a once in a life time experience.
Donelle was just 17, having graduated early from high school. Her mother was a civil employee on an Army base and encouraged her daughter to join. Donelle longed to travel and see the world, so she signed up and served for 10 years. She recalled how frightened she was when she set off all alone, but she met supportive friends and appreciated the Army experience.
Both women used the GI Bill to earn college degrees. Nancy became a teacher and Donelle worked in Silicon Valley. They said being in the Army taught them a lot about themselves. They realized how young the United States is compared to other countries. They learned to be very proud of this country.
When asked about problems of sexual harassment, both women said they got used to it. However, times have changed, and today such harassment would not be tolerated. Both women claimed they met wonderful people in the Army and received many benefits from the experience.
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research. Membership is open to any graduate holding a two-year or higher degree from an accredited institution. Call (661) 972-6508 for membership questions. More information about the branch is available at http://www.tehachapimountain-ca.aauw.net.