Deanna Gail Shlee (Schliehe) Hopkins

Deanna Shlee Hopkin's "My Vigil at the Vietnam Wall" was awarded first place for non-fiction in The Traveler, a literary and creative arts magazine. This moving article has been the subject of readings and discussions at National and Regional Collegiate and University Honor Conventions and Leadership Conferences.

Perhaps more telling of the article's impact has been the response of Vietnam Veterans, where "That's the way it is" is the most frequently expressed comment.

The Wall draws both Vets and civilians alike, where tears and memories mingle irrespective of their source. In the words of Deanna, "Hopefully The Wall allows a 'closure' to the War that so many seek and a beginning to much needed healing."

Deanna was born in 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lived in Miamitown, Ohio, until her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1944. Her maiden name is Dean. Deanna graduated from North Phoenix High School in 1959. Deanna's brother, Don, joined the Air Force and did his basic at Lackland AFB.

Deanna married in 1960. She and her husband, John, and then two small children moved to the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, in 1965. Her husband was working on Military Housing. They returned to Phoenix in 1966. Her oldest child, a daughter, Darlene, joined the Army after high school. (See story: "The Other Walls") Deanna also has two sons, Michael and Stephen. There are two Vietnam Veterans in Deanna's extended family.

After her three grown children had "left the nest," Deanna started college in the Fall Semester of 1987, a goal she had kept alive for 28 years. She attended "Glendale Community College" in Glendale, Arizona, and qualified for Phi Theta Kappa. Deanna graduated from "GCC" as an Honors Student with an AA degree in Business Administration.

While at GCC, Deanna worked in the Art, Philosophy, and Honors Department and then worked in the Adult Reentry Center of GCC as "Special Events Coordinator" and assistant to the director of that department. During this time, Deanna's former husband, John, who served in the Army in 1954 as a tank driver in Germany, died of Lou Gehrigs disease in October of 1992. Deanna attended Ottawa University in their Honors Program, Phoenix and Tempe Campuses, pursuing her BA degree in English.

From Ottawa, Deanna applied at Arizona State University in Tempe for a post-bac, second degree in Journalism and was accepted into the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism as a Senior, taking courses that would qualify toward her Masters of Mass Communication (MMC) at ASU. In moving to another State, Texas, and getting settled in a new life, Deanna had to pull out of ASU and her education for the present.

While at GCC, Deanna "met" Bill McBride on the Internet in a Vietnam Veterans' discussion list. Bill is the creator and CO of the "Vietnam Veterans Home Page" Web Site. She submitted her "Vigil" story and a poem for the VVHP Web Site's main "Remembrance" section and eventually became Editor for the Page and Squad Leader for the "Remembrance" and "PX" main sections. She has since turned over "Remembrance" and the "PX" to other Squad Leaders. She maintains the "Marquee" and other files on the Site.

Deanna moved to Richardson, Texas, a suburb just NE of Dallas, in September 1996 to live with Mike Hopkins, a Nam Vet, lst (BRO) and 9th Infantries, '69-'70, Arty. Mike also has a Gallery in the "Remembrance" section of the VVHP called "The Sound of Whirling Blades" and added his talent and skills to the Page "Platoon" in colorizing and adding graphics to the Site. He then became the Squad Leader for the "Veterans Organizations and Support Groups" main section that is now maintained by John Rossie (JR).

When Deanna lived in Phoenix, Arizona, she became an Associate Member of VVA Local Chapter #432. Mike is a Lifetime Member of both the VVA and the DAV as well as a member of the American Legion. Deanna is a Lifetime Charter Alumnus of Phi Theta Kappa and a member of Mensa.

Together, Deanna and Mike have five children, 14 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.


On August 10th, 1998, in the city of Richardson, Deanna and Mike were married.

Deanna and Mike can be reached via the Internet at:

My Vigil At The Vietnam Wall

The Other Walls


View some of Deanna's other works at:

A Circle Of Friends -- Deanna's Stories ...

Revised on 02-15-2007