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In Loving Memory of Candida "Candi" Mestayer-Culp
By John Lindquist
Candi was one of the strong, wonderful VVAW women. She started in VVAW in late 1972 in the St. Louis chapter.
In April 1973 she moved to Wisconsin and became a very active member of the Milwaukee chapter.
She was active in VVAW's food collective with Louis Stickford and Kelly. The VVAW food collective was on the corner of N. Fratney St. and E. Clarke St in Milwaukee.
Candi also helped out at National meetings, VVAW campouts and most of our demonstrations.
When we "Declared war on the VA" in 1973 Candi was at all the demos. She bravely grabbed a VA police officer by the waist when we were attacked in front of the Milwaukee VA hospital. The photo was on the cover of Winter Soldier in February 1975.
She was active with our Agent Orange struggle and always had time to help veterans in crisis and others in our PVS rap groups.
Her Agent Orange work, along with other women in VVAW helped us in our fight for "Decent Benefits for all Veterans" and "Test, Treat and Compensate for Agent Orange."
She was a tireless VA hospital volunteer even into her retirement.
Candi loved her plants and flowers. She started work with the city of Milwaukee Forestry Department then transferred to Milwaukee County and worked at the Mitchell Park Domes for over twenty years. Her work saving endangered plants got her recognized far and wide.
The Government of Madagascar came to Milwaukee because of her work. She also went to London on her plant and flower work.
Candi's work, along with veterans and family members across America, has helped us get to the point we are at now. We have 178 PTSD Veteran's centers around the USA and the VA now recognizes 15 presumptive disabilities for defoliant exposure.
Candi's husband Brad Culp and their children will miss her terribly. They were all together at home when she passed in her loving husband's arms.
Candi, you will live on in our memories. VVAW members are proud to have known you. You touched our lives and our hearts.
John A. Lindquist
John Lindquist is a long-time VVAW member from Milwaukee, now living in England.
Candi grabbing a VA police officer at Milwaukee VA, 1975.