In a void of public awareness and seeming lack of political attention to the circumstances of prisoners of war in Vietnam, Sybil Stockdale and The League of Wives bravely stepped out of their era’s traditionally passive role of military spouses to demand the humane treatment of their POW husbands.
They pressed the US government for action. In doing so, they found their voice and forever transformed the role of the military spouse. Eventually becoming the National League of Families of Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Area, their actions ultimately influenced a reduction in prisoner torture and contributed to the safe return of 591 Service Members.
The League of Wives Memorial Project seeks to honor these women, telling their story through the establishment of a memorial in Coronado, California, the birthplace of the organization and home to The League of Wives founder, Sybil Stockdale.
This memorial will be the first public monument in the country to honor military spouses. We are asking for your support as we know you share in our strong appreciation for what The League of Wives accomplished and the military spouse legacy they defined.
We beg of you to hear our call—May Day! May Day! Do not turn your back on the hundreds of mothers who want their sons returned, do not ignore the children who cry out for the love and guidance of their fathers and the hundreds of wives who have grieved for years, some for husbands who will never return! Hear our distress and the cry from within the walls of the prison camps—May Day! May Day!!! HELP. PLEASE HELP.”
--Louise Mulligan, 1970