“It’s Going To Be Ok, Mom”: Service With The WACs In Vietnam

Lidia "Marty" Contreras


Lidia “Marty” Contreras joined the Army in August, 1958, for a job. Basic Training at Ft. McClellan, Alabama, was a culture shock, and it was followed by Advanced Training at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, where she trained as a telephone operator. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, she was stationed in Germany as the Cold War heated up. At the beginning of January, 1968, she landed at Tan Son Nhut Airport in Vietnam, on the way to joining the WAC (Women’s Army Corps) Detachment there. She was met at the airport by 1SG Crawford and SFC Benson, and was assigned to work with the JAG (Judge Advocate General) as a stenographer. She was serving as CQ (Charge of Quarters) and remembers February 18, 1968, the night the ammo dump blew up at Long Binh. She also recalls riots at the Long Binh Jail. While she was deployed, her mother frequently mailed packages, and her favorites were the ones containing Baby Ruth candy bars, and Mexican food.


conflicts Cold War Vietnam War
topics Cuban Missile Crisis Courage Women in Service Returning from War
interviewer David Siry
date 26 August 2016


name Lidia "Marty" Contreras
service Women's Army Corps
unit Women's Army Corps Detachment USARV
service dates 1958 1978