Sunday, November 11, 2007

Women in the Military

Last summer grandkids Kyle and Madison visited Washington D.C., where they went to Arlington Cemetery and the Women In Military Service For America Memorial.

There they looked up their great-grandmother (my mom), found her records, and brought back to me a nice packet including this picture, which before then I had not seen.

Her record lists:

SERVICE: Army WAC from May 29, 1944 to February 6, 1946


DECORATIONS: American Campaign Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal

MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES: I marched in a parade at Fort Benning, Georgia in a memorial service for former President Franklin D. Roosevelt who passed away. I was assigned as a parachute rigger and repairman.

She was a veteran of the military for a short time, but a veteran of many other things through her lifetime - a veteran of 42 years of marriage, a veteran mother of three, a veteran of hard work and hard times. Remembering all the veterans today, military or otherwise.

Women have served in the United States military for over two hundred years, often having had to disguise themselves as men. Female veterans have often been discriminated against by their male counterparts and, as such, women who have served in the armed forces have sometimes been known as "the invisible veterans". Women were not fully recognized as veterans until after WWII, and prior to this they were not eligible for VA benefits. The VA estimates that by the year 2010 women will make up 10% of the veteran population. ~from

Previous Veteran's Day thoughts here.


June said...

Susan, thank you so much for sharing this. What a fine picture to have. It's pretty neat that individual records can be accessed and that it's not just a general memorial to all. We tend to see and learn history as a mass movement, but I love to read about history one by one...each piece its own story.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I'm proud of your mother. Thanks for sharing her story. I think I told you about my friend Donna, the one who went into the bookstore business with me? When Donna's father Don joined the Marines, her mother (with no children yet) said, "I think I'll join the Women Marines." Don said, "No, under no circumstances are you to join the Women Marines." She said okay, he left for his tour of duty, and she joined the Navy instead! I love that story ... lol.

June, I agree that history one by one is so much more interesting.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Forgot to say, the story about Donna's parents is in the early 1940s and Don was probably drafted because of World War Two ... or about to be drafted. I don't know the details.

andsewitis Holly said...

Wow, that is something to be very proud of. I love hearing individual stories.