Oct. 13—MOULTRIE, Ga. — The South Georgia Veterans Activity Committee will host its annual Veterans Breakfast Nov. 6 at C.A. Gray Junior High School. The breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. and the program at 9 a.m.
The speaker for the event will be Donna C. Rowe, who served as a nurse in the Vietnam War and has been a volunteer for a variety of causes since her discharge.
A Massachusetts native, Rowe began her work for the military and veterans when she entered the U.S. Army in 1964 through Student Nurse Corps Program, the equivalent of ROTC. She earned her degree and became a Registered Nurse and was certified in Shock Trauma/Emergency Room. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1966 and served several stateside assignments, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center, before being deployed to Vietnam, where she was head nurse for ER/triage. Her husband, an Army officer as well, was also deployed to Vietnam. She was promoted to captain and then discharged in 1969.
A video clip of her work in Vietnam is included The Smithsonian Institute's permanent display of the Vietnam War Exhibit. Her interview for the Veterans History Project is available on the YouTube Channel.
Rowe continued her service to veterans as the wife of an Army officer, 20 years of which were active duty. She and her husband Al were married for 47 years. They worked together for veterans' issues until he passed away in 2014.
Rowe has been a volunteer for VFW and American Legion, PTA, Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. She has been an advocate for abused children and served on the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, among many other community service organizations.
She helped organize programs to assist veterans and active-duty families in need of assistance, especially at Christmas. For 16 years she chaired the Cobb County Veterans Celebration to raise funds for needy veterans and for Tunnel to Towers.
Her involvement in serving veterans is extensive. She never missed an opportunity to speak on behalf of the veterans across the state, including the 2016 Georgia DAR State Conference where she was the keynote speaker and received the Medal of Honor, an award she went on the receive from the National Society. That same year she was the first woman inductee into the Georgia Military Hall of Fame.
Even in a year of Covid, Rowe continued to speak out for veterans through Zoom meetings where she advocated for veterans adversely effected by the pandemic.
In nominating Donna for the DAR award, the Cherokee Chapter Regent Janet Dickerson described Rowe "not only as an accomplished woman of great character and service, but an eloquent speaker with a compassionate military story."
Rowe spends 10-15 hours each week working on veterans' issues. When she isn't serving veterans and volunteering in the community, she is a real estate agent/broker, presently with Coldwell Banker.