Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum
Spotlight On: Nurses in the Military
March 11, 2021 7PM
Beginning with the Civil War, female nurses have played a significant role in the United States Military. This panel discussion will highlight Donna Gardner, who spent 22 years in the Navy. Donna will discuss her time in the Navy Nurse Corps and her post military career. Also featured will be Jake Wynn, Director of Interpretation at the National Museum for Civil War Medicine in Frederick, MD and Michael Kraus, Curator at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. Jake and Michael will provide a historical perspective on the evolutionary roles that nurses have played throughout history. Please join us as we honor female nurses in the military as a part of Women’s History Month.
Please check here for a link to the live stream. The link will be available approximately one week prior to the event.
Meet the Panel:
Donna Klaput Gardner – United States Navy Nurse, Retired
A native of Freeport, Pennsylvania, Donna Klaput Gardner graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In January 1978, she received her commission in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps and began her military career at Naval Regional Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia. Donna spent the next twenty-two years in assignments through the United States and Japan ranging from staff nurse, to nurse recruiter, to staff development officer, to director of branch medical clinics. Along the way, she was selected for the Navy graduate education program and attended East Carolina University where she received her Master of Science in Nursing as an Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. She retired from the Naval Medical Clinic in Charleston, South Carolina in 2000, where she then became a health educator to military beneficiaries. In 2003, she returned to Pennsylvania and accepted a faculty position at St Margaret School of Nursing, where she taught in the RN and LPN programs for 10 years. She retired in 2013 and lives in Freeport with her husband, Steven.
Jake Wynn – National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Director of Interpretation
Jake is a 2015 graduate of Hood College in Frederick, MD where he received his bachelor’s degree in history and communications arts. Wynn has previously worked with the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, the Tourism Council of Frederick County, and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He is currently stationed at the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum in Washington, DC. He writes independently on the history and culture of Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Coal Region at his blog, Wynning History, and is a founding contributor to the Pennsylvania in the Civil War blog.
Michael Kraus – Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Curator of Collections
A well-known military historian, Kraus has authored several Civil War books, including a chapter in “The Civil War in Pennsylvania – The African American Experience” analyzing the photographic presence of African American Pennsylvanians in the Civil War. He has also been tapped as consultant for numerous films and documentaries.
Since before the Civil War women have found ways to serve their country. From their early days as cooks and nurses to the combat roles they fulfill today, the roles of women have evolved within the military. Discover the story of female pilot and pioneer Teresa James as we play a game of fact or fiction. The free class will take place Tuesday, March 23rd at 7PM. Click the link for more information and to register.
Joseph A. Dugan, Jr. Hall of Valor Ceremony
On Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 2 p.m., Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc., will induct the next group of veterans into the Joseph A. Dugan, Jr. Hall of Valor.
Due to the pandemic and current attendance restrictions, Soldiers & Sailors will not be able to invite the public into the building to attend this ceremony. Only the inductees and their guests will attend in person. However, the event will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube so that anyone who wants to watch this remarkable group can do so from the safety of their home.
Please use the following links to view the event on either Facebook Live or YouTube.
The links will not be active until 10 minutes before the event occurs.
Soldiers & Sailors recognizes and pays tribute to Pennsylvania veterans who have received the military’s highest awards for valor: the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldiers Medal, Airmen Medal, Coast Guard Medal or Navy/Marine Corps Medal (for bravery and heroism during times of military conflict). These inductees will join the over 700 heroes that have already been inducted into the distinguished Hall of Valor since 1963.
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum
Caretakers During the Vietnam War
April 8, 2021 7PM
Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube
There are many jobs in the military that do not involve fighting on the front lines. Some roles focus more on providing care and comfort to soldiers. This panel discussion will highlight two “caretakers” that served during the Vietnam War. Clem Blazewick served as a Medical Laboratory Technician at the 93rd Evacuation Hospital in Long Binh, Vietnam from January 4, 1966 to December 18, 1966. Paul C. Lawson served as a Chaplain with the 3rd Marine Division in Quang Tri, Republic of Vietnam, and in Okinawa in 1969 and 1970. Also featured will be Soldiers & Sailors Curator, Michael Kraus discussing artifacts related to this theme. April marks the 46th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War so please join us as we honor the “Caretakers” during the war.
Clement J. Blazewick
Specialist E-5, US Army (Ret)
Born on the South Side of Pittsburgh, Clem graduated from St. Casimir High School in 1962. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1965 where he was trained to be a Medical Laboratory Technician and served at the 93rd Evacuation Hospital in Long Binh Vietnam during l966. After a 30 day leave he was stationed at US Army Camp Zama in Japan until May 13, 1966 when he was honorably discharged from the regular Army and served four more years on reserve duty. Clem has been married to his wife Patricia for 54 years and they have two daughters and six grandchildren.
Paul C. Lawson
Captain, Chaplain Corps, USNR (Ret)
Paul C. Lawson joined the Navy in 1967 and served during 1969 and 1970 as a Lieutenant with the 3rd Marine Division in Quang Tri, Republic of Vietnam, and in Okinawa, Japan, after the division was pulled out of Vietnam (Marines have always used Navy chaplains and medics). After being detached from 3rd Marine Division, Paul transferred from active duty to the reserves until his retirement as a Captain, equivalent to an Army/Air Force/Marine Corps Colonel, in 1994.
Soldiers & Sailors Curator
A well-known Civil War historian, Kraus currently works as Curator/Historian for Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. His accomplishments include several historical consultant credits for major films, writing and narrating the documentary series Civil War Minutes and Civil War Life as well as authoring articles and books regarding the conflict. Michael also is an accomplished sculptor with an impressive resume of historically themed works in bronze.