Saturday, November 11, 2006

Do Not Forget


W hen I was in college, I had the wonderful opportunity of studying Women's History under a professor who had actually been part of it. In World War II, she had served in the Women Airforce Service Pilots. A little over 1000 women flew every type of aircraft the U.S. Military had at its command for support missions. 38 of these women died in the service of their country. For the WASPs, there was no G. I. Bill, which was one of the major causes behind both the growth in housing and education and thus the economy in the late 40s and 50s. In 1944, the U. S. Government denied veteran's benefits to members of the WASPs. After all, despite the death and injury toll, they hadn't served combat missions. The WASPS persevered in their struggle with the government the way they had during the war, and in 1977, the status as veterans that they had earned with their service was awarded to them by President Jimmy Carter.

For so many of us, the face of a veteran belongs to a man, despite the fact that women have served in both official and unofficial roles in every war and armed conflict this nation has endured. There are an estimated 28,000 women currently deployed in the U.S. Armed Services. 58 women have died in the Middle East since this wretched war began. Nearly 500 have been injured. It is not just our brothers, sons and fathers we need to salute today. Our country is stained with the blood of our mothers, daughters and sisters as well.



4 Comments:

Blogger Robbie said...

As a prior service member, I truly appreciate this post. Inspiring!

November 12, 2006 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

True we too often forget the sacrifice of women in the military or the support of it! From Rosie the Riviter to G.I. Jane. I was at http://www.legacy.com/Soldiers.asp and was sadly reminded yesterday of the daughters, sisters and wives and mom's who have given their all as well.

November 12, 2006 9:42 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Listed under favorite movies in my complete profile, please note the film, "Shining Through"
It stars Melanie Griffith and Michael Douglas. What a fabulous story of a woman in the military.
A beautiful WWII, spy, romance, thriller. It came out a few years ago but easy to get on Netflix or amazon. Nice entry.

November 12, 2006 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and the nurses. Nurses have always been at or near the front, treating the wounded. See "We Band of Angels," by Elizabeth Norman, about the nurses trapped on Bataan by the Japanese. Fifty years later, many of them wept when they recalled being forced away from their patients at gunpoint. Good post.

November 12, 2006 5:35 PM  

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