GIBSON CITY, Ill. (WCIA) — When Marva Crandell was young, she wanted to continue her family’s long line of serving in the military.

She joined the Army as soon as she could. She was called to Hanau, Germany during the Vietnam War as a combat medic, making her one of the few women who served in the war.

“I was out with the tanks as they fired their weapons,” Crandell said. “I was a medical back-up if anyone got hurt.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, around 265,000 American women served during the Vietnam War. While 2.7 million were deployed to Vietnam during the war, only 11,000 women were stationed in the country. Most women served as volunteer nurses.

Crandell describes her memories of war as chilling. She’s suffered from mental health conditions like PTSD, anxiety and depression.

“The loss of one member was greatly felt by all and we miss our brothers and sisters in arms,” Crandell said.

But she asks any struggling veterans to know they’re not alone and they should reach out for support.

“I ask that anyone having trouble with suicide call their local VA suicide reps or dial 988 and press 1 and ask for help,” Crandell said. “It has saved my life, [it can] save yours also.”

On this Memorial Day, Crandell wants to make sure our heroes’ sacrifices are never forgotten.

“It’s for their benefit not us veterans who are alive,” she said. “It’s for those who have lost their loved ones to our country.”

Crandell is thankful she came back home, but she would not change her experience.

“I would have fought again and did my duty as a veteran,” she said.

Crandell remains active in her local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts. She encourages everyone to support veterans whenever they have the chance.