Diane Carlson Evans
Who is Diane Carlson Evans?
1Lt. Diane Carlson Evans, ANC RVN served as a nurse in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and founded the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project in 1984, initiating and leading the effort to add the Vietnam Women's Memorial to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.
Carlson Evans was born and raised on a dairy farm in rural Minnesota and graduated from nursing school in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Upon graduation, she joined the Army Nurse Corps and served in Vietnam, at age 21, in 1968-1969. She served in the burn unit of the 36th Evacuation Hospital in Vung Tau and at Pleiku in the 71st Evacuation Hospital, 30 miles from the Cambodian border in the Central Highlands, just 10 to 20 minutes by helicopter from the field. Including her one year in Vietnam, Carlson Evans completed a total of 6 years in the Army Nurse Corps.
Carlson Evans attended the dedication of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in 1982. Following the dedication of the statue of three soldiers at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in 1984, Carlson Evans founded the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project, to honor the service of American military women who served during the Vietnam War era. She worked from 1984 through 1993 to establish the Vietnam Women's Memorial, lobbying federal authorities for permission to build a memorial to the 11,000 military women who served in Vietnam and the 265,000 who served around the world during the Vietnam era. Carlson Evans and thousands of volunteers in 50 states raised money and public support for the cause, including from leading veteran's organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, and the American Legion.
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