The Vietnam Women's Memorial Project wants to add another sculpture to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: one that would commemorate the role of women in that war. Founded two years ago, the project kicked off its campaign yesterday to place a bronze statue of a military nurse on the east side of the memorial.

"People don't have a sense of women being involved," said Mary Stout, a Vietnam vet and national secretary of Vietnam Veterans of America. "It's real important that people realize that a great many women are veterans." Although there are far fewer women vets than men, Stout said as many as 20,000 women served in the Vietnam war.

*The statue, designed by Roger Brodin, would cost approximately $1 million, including landscaping and maintenance, Stout said. The major veterans organizations have endorsed the project, and John Wheeler, chairman of the board of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and Jan Scruggs, president of that organization, have announced their support. Stout said the project will now seek approval from the Capital Planning Board, the Department of the Interior and the Fine Arts Commission.

On Monday Stout will be the first woman to speak at the Vietnam memorial, along with the first nonveteran, Linda Smith, daughter of McDonald's heir Joan Kroc. Wheeler said the speeches "represent our thinking that the memorial is not just about men. It's about America."

Caroline Kennedy's Wedding Plans

Caroline Kennedy will marry longtime beau Edwin Schlossberg on July 19 at Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville, Mass., because her first choice, St. Francis Xavier Church in Hyannis, where her cousin Maria Shriver was wed last month, was unavailable.

The Rev. Edward Duffy, pastor of St. Francis Xavier, said his church "was the first choice of Caroline and her mother," Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. However, Kennedy wanted a late-afternoon mass, Duffy said, adding that he told her that was impossible on a Saturday because confessions are heard at 3 p.m.

End Notes

Writer and radio host Garrison Keillor spoke yesterday at a lunch at the National Press Club. Keillor, who admitted his distrust of journalists, said, "Their interest in me is quite at odds with my own interest in me. When you think about it, for a journalist, your violent death will be a professional opportunity" . . .

John Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Reagan in 1981, is getting in on the widely publicized controversy between Gore Vidal and Norman Podhoretz. In response to an article about Vidal's alleged anti-Semitism published in The New Republic last month, Hinckley, who is confined at St. Elizabeths Hospital, writes in a letter published in the upcoming issue, "The opinions of Gore Vidal and myself are just as valid as yours, and just because we disagree does not mean we are crazy" . . .

Country singer Johnny Paycheck has been released from jail under $50,000 bond made by entertainers Merle Haggard and George Jones. Paycheck, 47, who was convicted last week of aggravated assault, was released Thursday. Despite his 9 1/2-year sentence, Paycheck is scheduled to participate in Hands Across America and has several concerts scheduled . . .

-- Lisa Serene Gelb