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Interview with Marilyn Childress

The Center was delighted to have Marilyn Childress from the Tennessee Veterans Heritage Site Foundation visit with us on March 10th. Marilyn shared with us her experiences as a servicemember in the United States Navy, joining in 1974 and working as a corpsman in hospital and other medical units. While serving, she was one of the first women to receive special duty to play Volleyball at the United States Volleyball Association Tournament. Once she finished serving, Childress used the GI Bill to finish her schooling at the University of Tennessee. She then moved to Atlanta for work and began playing soccer as a goalkeeper in her free time. Realizing that women’s soccer was underrepresented, she created a new women’s league. In 1991, the original plans for the 1996 Olympic games did not include womens’ soccer. Childress took matters into her own hands and after meeting with the head of the International Olympic Committee and the United States Congress, she successfully petitioned for the  inclusion of the sport into the Olympic games. Today, Marilyn is the president of the Veterans Heritage Site Foundation which preserves veteran memorials in East Tennessee and shares the legacy of our local veterans. You can watch the full interview below!