You Betcha I'm a Proud Army Mom

Ramblings of an Army mom and probably some rants about the world at large. These are my ramblings and rants and no one else's. Just so you know...

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Women in the Military

I"ve been spending alot of time surfing the net and catching on up on reading my favorite blogs as I've been recovering from this nasty bug (think mutant alien cockroach) that has invaded my body. I've seen alot of Milblogs listing Heroes of OIF - and there are so many! Unfortunetly, you won't hear about most of them in the MSM. Mudville Gazette: 2005: Heroes, Blackfive: Someone you should know and many others have posted about those that have gone above and beyond and/or given the ultimate sacrifice. Well, that got me to thinking about the women in the Military and their role in the history of this country. Plus, I was raised on the stories of my paternal Grandmother's sister, Mame Hanfield who left home during WWI to become a nurse. Boy, did she rock the family boat! She traveled overseas to care for our wounded. She never married and continued to travel throughout her life. She lived to be 104 years old, spending the last few years in a VA nursing home. Actually, she was talked about in hushed tones. She never did have the complete acceptance of the family. She never did take the road assigned to women at that time period.
Then there was my mother who left (ran away from) Westminster Choir College in 1942 (she was training to become an opera singer) to join the Navy. She didn't call home to let her parents know until she had already enlisted. As I wrote of this before, I believe, I can just imagine her how her mother took the news. My, oh my! I imagine the rafters shook that day. My Mom was stationed in Brooklyn, NY and was in charge of the new "Boots" assigned there. She also met quite a few pilots (ahem...) and took flying lessons after the war. Oh, she loved to fly!
Then, of course, there is my daughter, who is now completing her training at Ft. Sam Houston. So, I have a natural interest about the subject of women in the Military. And it didn't hurt being raised by two history buffs either and going to battlefields and museums, learning about the part women played in this country's history.
So, I was surfing and again came across the website that I have mentioned in a previous post:

Military Women Veterans: Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow ( a wonderful site that tells the stories of women from teh Revolutionary War to the Present) which led me to the
Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation's web site:

"The President's Welcome" -
Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught, USAF (Ret.)
President, Women's Memorial Foundation

"Welcome to the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation's web site. This web site is about the Women's Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. The Women's Memorial is a unique, living memorial honoring all military women - past, present and future - and is the only major national memorial honoring women who have served in our nation's defense during all eras and in all services.
Work on the Memorial was in progress for about 11 years and it was dedicated October 18, 1997. Some 200,000 people visit the Memorial annually. We hope you'll visit, too, when you're in Washington, DC...."

"History
Honoring Military Women—Past, Present and FutureDuty. Honor. Pride. These words reflect the spirit of generations of Americans who have sought to defend the rights and freedom of others. At the Women In Military Service For America Memorial, these words come to life in the stories and memories of the nearly two million women who have served in defense of our nation. The Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Inc., the non-profit organization established to build the Memorial, continues to raise the funds needed to operate and maintain the Memorial Education Center. Led by retired Air Force Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught, the Foundation broke ground on June 22, 1995, for the only major national memorial in our nation's history to honor and pay tribute to all servicewomen of the United States Armed Forces—past, present and future. Dedication was October 18, 1997. The Women's Memorial officially opened to the public on October 20, 1997.
The history of women in the armed forces began more than 220 years ago with the women who served during the American Revolution and continues through the present day. The Women's Memorial honors all the women who have served courageously, selflessly and with dedication in times of conflict and in times of peace—women whose achievements have for too long been unrecognized or ignored...."

I haven't been to Washington, DC since I was 12 years old, so I haven't seen this Memorial myself. But it's on my list now.

As I was looking over this site, I came across "Let The Generations Know":

"Watch "Let the Generations Know" Via the Internet
The Pentagon Channel recently aired "Let the Generations Know," during its monthly informational program "RECON" and it can be viewed until May 2006. Follow America's daughters back in time to see how they made history and watch as today's servicewomen break barriers in the line of duty during this 30-minute program. Filmed at the Memorial, "Let the Generations Know" includes interviews with WWII Woman Marine Iona (Crim) Gilbert of Falls Church, VA; retired Army SFC Carmen Suarez, Deputy Director of Memorial Operations; WWII WAVE Sheila (Walsh) Martin of Hatboro, PA; and Brig Gen Wilma L. Vaught, Women's Memorial Foundation President. To watch the video on the Pentagon Channel Web site, your computer must use Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP or ME; Internet Explorer 5.5 or 6.0; Flash 5.0 or higher and Media Player 9 or later. Macintosh operating systems and Quicktime are currently not supported. To view this program, visit www.pentagonchannel.com and click on the link "Let the Generations Know." You may also download a copy of the video to your computer by selecting the download link while viewing the video."

It's well worth watching when you have half an hour or so. I sat here with goosebumps and tears in my eyes listening to these remarkable women share their stories.

So, please visit these sites and learn about the incredible history of the women who helped shape and defend this country of ours and the women who are doing so right now, today.

I'd love to hear from any of you that have seen the Memorial in Washington DC.

And I'd also love to hear from women who have served or are now serving. If you would like to tell your story, I'd be honored to post it.

You are all Heroes!