TITLE: Women in the Persian Gulf War
SPEAKER: Darlene Iskra, Juliana Mock, Gail Shillingford, Juanita Mullen
EVENT DATE: 2012/03/27
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 59 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
The Library's Veterans History Project commemorated Women's History Month with a landmark panel discussion on the contributions of women to the Persian Gulf War and the impact on women veterans in the more than 20 years since.
Speaker Biography: One of the first female Navy diving officers, Darlene Iskra was also the first woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy, the USS Opportune ARS-41, and took it to war during Desert Storm in January 1991. In addition to her experience as a sea-going officer, her staff work has included both enlisted personnel management at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, and civil affairs, disaster and military attache work for USCINCPAC Rep Marianas in Guam and the Marianas Islands. She retired from the U.S. Navy as a Commander in April 2000. Her story is included in the VHP collections and featured in VHP's Voices of War.
Speaker Biography: Juliana Mock served in the Persian Gulf War with the US Army, 87th Medical Detachment (Dental Services) and 12th EVAC Hospital. Her unit provided dental support for the Iraqi EPWs at the 301st Military Police Camp. During the months of January, February and March 1991, the unit repeatedly experienced the loud alarms of chemical detectors and ingested expired pyrostigmine bromide tablets. Since the war she and her husband, also a Persian Gulf War veteran, experienced health complications and in 2003 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She is now president of Veterans of Modern Warfare and an advocate for Gulf War veterans health.
Speaker Biography: An African-American woman raised in Philadelphia, Gail Shillingford joined the US Army in order to obtain money for college. She was assigned to support of the 3rd Infantry Division at Ft. Stewart, and deployed to the Persian Gulf for 10 months as a private. She recalls SCUD attacks and other perils in support of the front lines. She remains in the military, currently serving as CW4, GS assistant executive officer to the director of the Army Staff.
Speaker Biography: Raised on an Indian Reservation, Juanita Mullen is a pioneer for American Indian women in the US Air Force. She served stateside during the Gulf War in support of troops overseas, watching her husband deploy and caring for her children and family while serving. She was mobilized for deployment but was called back. She retired from the Air Force after 20 years and, after a stint at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, joined the VA Center for Minority Veterans and Center for Women Veterans. She serves as the American Indian veterans liaison for both centers.