Being a woman CAN have their perks too in a war.
Many women went over initially as free-lancers or even girlfriends. The only reason Laura Palmer went to Saigon was because she was dating a pediatrician who was stationed there. The romance fizzled, but she stayed in Vietnam to be a stringer for ABC-Radio and to write for Rolling Stone magazine. Years later, she wrote the book “Shrapnel in the Heart,” a chronicle of those who left poems and letters at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Sometimes, women see the soft sides of the war. The sad, unnoticed remnants of love and grief left in a war.
Women also came off as less threatening when they interviewed the Vietnamese women and children. This enabled them to do the stereotypical “soft” women’s stories, the human angle that became more important as Americans started questioning the wisdom of this war.
“At times, the women were more attuned to the human side of the war and the Vietnamese side of the war while many of us were zeroing in on the American side,” said George Esper, a celebrated war correspondent for The Associated Press.