Page 5


Xrilm 4r’ Ir. k OPEN MONDAYSAll!RDAY 10-6 AND OPEN SUNDAY 10 BwAT OsoN O&Cc i pA s Ny Corruption and violence, graft and tyranny: these words are synonymous with the reign of the powerful political bosses who ruled South Texas in the Progressive Era. The Wells Machine, the notorious Duval County chieftain, Archie Parr, and James B. Wells’ “associates,” John Nance Garner and Manuel Guerra, are the famous subjects of Evan Anders’ provocative, original book. Power, by any means, was the bosses’ byword, but the ultimate source of their power was their keen ability to manipulate their constituency, particularly its Mexican Americans. The bosses’ special relationship with the Texas Rangers and their influence on Texas and national politics are part of this arresting history. Although their era is long gone, Anders points out that the bosses have left a legacy of paternalism, corruption, and tyranny that survives in parts of South Texas to this day. $19.95 BOSS RULE IN SOUTH TEXAS Thia PragfelSile0 Era by Evart Andtrs BOX 7819 AUSTIN, TEXAS 78712 University of Texas Press Life Insurance and Annuities Martin Elfant, CLU SkItire 4223 Richmond, Suite 213, Houston, TX 77027 \(Continued from Page woman was angry, Pat realized, resentful at being there against her will. As for the young woman who ran onto the highway, we know she received a hasty discharge. She could barely speak English, and had faced many problems due to cultural barriers, yet we are certain she was not offered treatment for the stress that led her to the attempt on her own life. Pat recalls, as I do, the flag lowered half-staff many times during training. Suicide, we found, was not all that uncommon. “I remember girls being carried out to an ambulance,” says Pat of the base in Nebraska. One girl had an affair with a much older married man, then threw herself down the stairs when a pregnancy resulted. She was discharged for “Conduct unbecoming to an Airman.” Many women deliberately began their families as a way to get discharged. Several of us had been told by recruiters that a women could voluntarily get out upon marriage. It was a lie. The law had changed only months prior to my induction. Our instructors insisted we had all been informed of the change and had signed papers acknowledging it. We were positive we hadn’t been informed. Months later, during a review of my records, those papers surfaced, and I remembered sheepishly how I’d signed them. As we were being led into that curtained room the day I was sworn in, the female recruiter rushed up and shoved three papers in front of me. “Sign these, quick!” she had insisted. I hesitated only seconds, watching the crowd move to that hallowed room, knowing I would be late. “It’s a new law they just passed, and I can’t let you in until you sign this.” Her persistence paid off; I signed and learned the hard way to read the “new law” first. Admittedly, women during the Vietnam era were uncertain about what they wanted. Phyllis Schlafly insisted women should not serve in combat, yet I recall that many of us would have. A man had to stay in service regardless of marital or family status. Women wanted to retain the right to get out when they got married if they wanted, and yet it took years for them to gain the right to stay in after they got pregnant. Pat would not join again, she says. But having joined, she wishes it had been a few years later, when more career options were open to women. I agree. “I wish I had some men with your electronics and mechanics scores,” my re”What do you mean you can’t type, you’re a girl, aren’t you?’ “I think women in the service are great, they should issue one of you to each of us.” was the reason you joined?” I heard the above phrases so many times I lost count. When I discussed this memory with the men I met recently who also served and who are now counseling veterans, they admitted with some embarrassment to having the same thoughts about women with whom they served. Is it any surprise that women veterans are reluctant to come forward for help and counseling? Women were the victims of dual discrimination, both for serving during an unpopular non-war, and for being in a “man’s army” that has yet to deal satisfactorily with the identity of women. To help women who are Vietnam veterans, the V.A., society, and male veterans must recognize, not only that women veterans exist now, but that they existed then as part of the Vietnam experience. Marcy Busick is an Austin free-lance writer and photographer who served in the Air Force, 1966-1968. She has been interested in veterans affairs for the past ten years. 18 NOVEMBER 26, 1982