Judy Jenkins Gaudino
Judy Jenkins Gaudino joined the Army Special Services during her senior year at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she majored in social work. Gaudino’s field work for her degree was therapeutic recreation for delinquent teenage girls at a state reformatory, and, based on her performance, her professor recommended she join the Army Special Services. The Army promised Gaudino stations in Korea or Europe, but she was sent to Vietnam. “We were there to help make a touch of home for the soldiers.” A typical tour length for Army Special Services women was one year, but Gaudino fell in love with the work, completing three tours over three years. Like the other women, Gaudino did not believe in the war but in helping the young men who were forced to serve. She worked with local orphanages and helped the men in her Service Clubs, becoming a big sister to thousands of men. Gaudino remembers her time in Vietnam fondly, as it taught her leadership, extroversion, and how to love and appreciate all cultures. Gaudino had an impactful career as a veterans counselor, helping veterans and families heal from the wounds of war.