Miami Valley Veterans Museum presents new exhibit on women in the military

TROY — The Miami Valley Veterans Museum salutes women across the region with a new exhibit, “Giving Voice to Women Who Served,” which opened during Women’s History Month in March.

Two of these women – Carmen “Penny” Adams and Lt. Col. Terry Calvert – were featured in a program promoting the upcoming exhibit at the museum located just south of Troy near County Road 25A.

They were among 35 women interviewed in recent years by Vivian Blevins, an English teacher at Edison State Community College in Piqua, and students. Short biographies of all the women featured are included in the exhibit.

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The exhibit also includes artifacts including uniforms, clothing, recruiting posters, scrapbooks and collections created by women and their families to chronicle their military service.

For Adams, Vietnam was far from his hometown of Piqua.

She was studying medical technology at Ohio Dominican College with an internship at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus, when a female Navy recruiter came in saying the Navy needed more people with medical knowledge. laboratory.

She volunteered, reporting for service on her 21st birthday, Adams recalled.

She worked in labs and blood centers at Bethesda Naval Center and San Diego before heading to Vietnam.

His experience there included service on a hospital ship that was a trauma center.

Despite sometimes harsh words from men unhappy with women in military roles, Adams said she worked with “a wonderful team.”

After Vietnam, she returned to San Diego and went to work at her blood bank.

“I never regretted ever being in the military,” Adams said. “I’m happy that I was able to serve my country…And I hated that I lost patients when I was in Vietnam, but there was no way to save everyone.”

Calvert, now a math teacher at Edison State Community College, started flying at Sidney Airport while in high school. She attended the University of Cincinnati and its aerospace engineering co-op program.

This program took her to the Navy Test Center in Maryland, working with a team of Navy pilots and Marines. Their “incredible stories” inspired her to join the Navy.

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At Pensacola Officer Candidate School, “they’re yelling at you the second you walk through the door,” she said. Of 11 women in a first class of officer candidates that included women, eight finished, including Calvert.

“We got the men warmed up a lot when we were there. Drill instructors were constantly looking for infractions,” Calvert said. “We knew that if we messed up something, not only would we get in trouble, but it would cause problems for all the women who followed us.”

She completed deployments to Greenland and New Mexico and then transitioned from the Navy to the Air Force via the Air National Guard. His final stop was Wright-Patterson Air Force Base before his retirement in 2006.

The women interviewed for the exhibition are: Penny Adams, Caroline Abernathy Auclair, Cassie Barlow, Mercedes Beasley, Kimberly Bowling, Terry Calvert, Sophia Carter, Caitlin Donnelly, Kimberly Donnelly, Melissa Fowler, Debra Gomez, Katorah Griffith, Alisa Grieshop, Deborah Henderson, Judy Johnson, Betty Jones, Melissa Lodhi, Selena Lloyd, Fern Metcalf, Keitha Meyer, Brandi Miles, Peg Morelli, Brandi Olberding, Charlene Holmes Plump, Katherine Shilling, Josephine Slyder, Alberta Smith, Ann Strieber, Brooke Thornton, Sharea Waddle , Michelle Walker, Tina Wead, Siverina Whalen, Janet Wolfenbarger, MacKenzie Woolery and Jo Wildman.

Some of these women have agreed to participate in the museum’s speakers’ bureau. Funds received by any of the speakers for their engagements will be donated to the museum which is pursuing a fundraising campaign. More information about the speakers bureau is available from Ted Jones, museum president, at 567-204-1019. More information about the museum can be found on its website at The opening hours of the museum are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact this contributing writer at [email protected]

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