Mary Coker and Margaret Coker

Recorded August 7, 2023 Archived August 7, 2023 48:07 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ddc002624


Margaret Coker (no age given) asks her mother, Mary Coker (78), about her time serving in the Vietnam War. Both participants focus on Mary's experience being a woman in the military and how Mary's story has inspired others.

Subject Log / Time Code

Margaret Coker talks about how when she tells people she is from a military family, she doesn't always think of her mother as part of that military lineage, though she is.
Mary Coker talks about her childhood and why she joined the military.
Mary shares what her first days were like in the military.
Mary shares a story of sexism in the military while in training in West Texas.
Mary recalls her time as a nurse and focuses on a specific story of a child suffering from burns.
Mary shares a story of how she helped a man who was shot get in touch with his family.
Mary remembers conversations she was having politically with other military service members about Vietnam.
Mary talks about why she didn't go to Vietnam, getting pregnant, and why she didn't receive certain benefits upon leaving her service.
Mary shares how she felt discriminated against in the military and her transition into taking care of her family.
Mary reflects on her military experience, frustrations, regrets, and shares if she would do the experience again in a different life.
Mary explains why she wants to be buried in a Veterans cemetery.
Mary shares how proud she felt when her granddaughter asked her to accompany her to her school's veterans day.
Mary talks about her place in the women's movement.
Margaret talks about why she doesn't necessarily see her mom's service in the same way as some of her other family members.
Both participants share their appreciation for the other and Margaret shares how Mary's story has helped open doors and inspire her.


  • Mary Coker
  • Margaret Coker

Recording Location

Live Oak Public Libraries

Venue / Recording Kit

Partnership Type