Oral History Session #1
Date:July 24, 2018
Kathryn Tracy Rizzi
Transcript Production Team:
Kathryn Tracy Rizzi
Meeks, Edie. Oral History Interview, July 24, 2018, by Kathryn Tracy Rizzi, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
Mary "Edie" Meeks was born on March 13, 1944 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She grew up in South Minneapolis, attending Visitation School, Christ the King and Holy Angels Academy.
Meeks attended Saint Mary's School of Nursing, a part of what is now the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota. After graduating in 1965, she joined the Frontier Apostles missionaries and volunteered at a local hospital in British Columbia. In 1967, Edie moved to Los Angeles and became immersed in the counterculture.
After her brother was drafted, Meeks joined the Army Nurses Corps and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. She went to basic training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, worked at Fort Ord in California, and volunteered to go to Vietnam.
From July 1968 to January 1969, Meeks worked as an Army nurse at the Third Field Hospital in Saigon in the intensive care recovery unit. From January 1969 to July 1969, Meeks was stationed at the 71st Evacuation Hospital in Pleiku in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. She first worked in intensive care recovery and then in the medical unit, treating soldiers suffering from malaria, fevers and other illnesses. After returning from Vietnam, she worked at Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis-McChord.
Following her military service, Meeks spent her career in nursing, including twenty-five years at a hospital in Cold Spring, New York.
After not talking about her military service for many years, Meeks has become an advocate for the recognition of women veterans. She has worked with the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation. Headed by Diane Carlson Evans, the foundation succeeded in the establishment of the Vietnam Women's Memorial, a bronze statue designed by Glenna Goodacre, on November 11, 1993.