Army Veteran Olga Kalpagian is today's Veteran of the Day.

On National Vietnam War Veterans Day, today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Olga Kalpagian, who served as a nurse during the war.

Olga Kalpagian continued her family’s history for service by joining the Army Nurse Corps. Her father David Kalpagian, originally from Turkey, served during World War I. Her two older brothers, Harry and Edward, served in World War II. David Kalpagian, her third brother, graduated from West Point.

In 1967, Kalpagian traveled to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, for basic training. After training, she worked at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

During the Vietnam War, Kalpagian got a lot of experience in the operating room. The medical center received patients injured during the Tet Offensive and from the explosion aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.

After the Vietnam War, Kalpagian remained in service at many different posts. While stationed at the 279th Army Station Hospital in Berlin, Germany, she traveled throughout Europe while on leave. During her career, Kalpagian served at Fort McClellan, Ala., Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and in Augusta, Ga., and Washington, DC.

During her service, Kalpagian earned the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and the Army of Occupation Medal. In 1991, Kalpagian retired from the Army Nurse Corps, however she did not completely rest. She continued to pursue her education and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees after her retirement.

More of her story can be found at

Thank you for your service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Writer: Annaleigh Cummings

Editor: Em Thampoe

Fact checker: Adeline Sov

Graphic artist: Alyssa Morford

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Published on Mar. 29, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 150


  1. Robert jeskey April 1, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Ty for your great service. Females Lead the Way. Hooorah In a hard time when race and gender was an issue you achieved the rank of COL. Well done!

    Rorbert Jeskey. (1Sg Ret)

  2. Veterans network March 31, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you for your service.

  3. Senior Veterans Care Network March 30, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you for your service Olga Kalpagian.

  4. Billy J Shafer March 30, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    When did this start. I am a veteran of Vietnam. I have never heard of it and I know no one who has. Billy J Shafer USS Saratoga CVA 60. Tonkin Gulf 1972

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