“I Typed My Own Orders For Vietnam”: A WAC’s Pride In Service

Glenda Graebe


Glenda Storni Graebe grew up on a ranch in central California. Seeking adventure, and considered joining the Navy, but felt that the opportunities for travel and new experiences were better in the Army. While working at Fort Myers, she typed her own orders for Vietnam. Arriving at Long Binh, she performed clerical work, and part of her job was typing up answers to Congressional Inquiries. In her off-hours, she volunteered at orphanages and wrote letters home for wounded Soldiers. She once organized a clothing drive for local orphans, and received boxes of donations from the United States. Although she felt important in the Army, she began doubting the value of her service when she returned home because of the poor treatment she received from her fellow citizens. It took years and a healing quilt to help her reconcile her pride in service with the negative attitudes she observed on the home-front. In this interview, she talks about her childhood, joining the Army, and her service overseas. She describes life in the WAC Detachment and moving to Long Binh. She also recalls an ammo dump explosion, and fellow WAC Mary Hay shielding her with her body. Finally, she reflects on what her service means to her.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Women in Service Wartime Decisions PTSD Morale Camaraderie
interviewer Dave Siry
date 28 April 2018


name Glenda Graebe
service Army
unit WAC Detachment USARV
specialty Clerk Typist
service dates 1965 1968