‘M-A-S-H’ Star Backs Statue for Female Vietnam Vets
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Actress Loretta Swit, who portrayed Korean War nurse Hot Lips Houlihan in the television series ″M-A-S-H,″ said Tuesday ″it’s time we said thank you″ to the women who served in Vietnam with a statue in their honor.
″To ignore the contributions women have given is an outrageous neglect, and it’s really sad,″ Miss Swit said as she lent her support to the drive to add a statue of a military woman to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.
She joined other supporters at a news conference where Sen. David Durenberger, R-Minn., said he had introduced a Senate resolution authorizing the statue, which would be added to the V-shaped wall and statue of three fighting men that makes up the memorial.
Supporters are turning to Congress after their proposal was rejected by the Commission on Fine Arts, a federal board that oversees placement of national monuments. Durenberger’s measure, if passed, would overrule the commission’s action and reduce its role in this case to an advisory one on artistic considerations.
In an emotional endorsement of the project, Miss Swit said military nurses who served in Vietnam ″were my inspiration″ and were more deserving of recognition and honor than she was for the acting awards she received.
″I was merely the spokesman,″ she said. ″We’ve got it all wrong. They are the ones that deserve this tribute, this statue.
″These women paid a price, and it’s time we said thank you,″ she added.