Women Among The Vietnam Veterans Honored - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/30/05-Tyler

Women Among The Vietnam Veterans Honored

Many of the veterans honored Monday were once young men who left their homes and headed to the war front.

But many young women over the years have enlisted with the same hopes of serving their country. One of those women is Marlene Foust. Marlene is a former member of the Air Force, who served during the Vietnam War.

It was time when the country wrestled with it's image. A time when war raged in the jungles of Vietnam. A time when few women served in the military.

"I went in there a young green kid and thought I knew everything, and didn't know a lot of anything," Marlene said.

But 30 years later, Marlene Foust stands as a woman proud of her decision to enlist. At the time, her young hopes were dashed. Her eye sight kept her stationed at Hawaii, never seeing Vietnam. Still she helped where she could, and saw young men leaving for a country many never made it home from.

"I wish it could have been a little better settled than what it was," she said of the war.

Today, Marlene stands as a testimony to the military's evolution.

"Really the women didn't start coming in to the service until Korea and Vietnam," she said. "True there were others in Korea and World War II, but more and more women are now joining."

While many debate a woman's role in combat, Marlene said women should be allowed to make the same sacrifice as their male counterparts.

"I see nothing wrong with it. We're there, we volunteered, we weren't selected in the draft."
It's that willingness to serve that was remembered Monday. Something that brings pride to Marlene's steps.

"I know the tears are going to be coming pretty soon. You can't help it. I can watch television and I hear the National Anthem and I cry. I'm just so happy to be an American. It makes you proud to be an American."

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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