Women Veterans History Month –
Throughout our history, the important contributions of women in our nation’s defense and as part of the Veteran population cannot be overstated. [United Relief Foundation joins the] VA’s dedication of Women’s History Month in March to remember women who served our nation throughout history. This observance grants deserved recognition and acknowledges the achievements of women in the military.
For generations, women Veterans have honorably served in the military.
Women have served in America’s wars and conflicts throughout our history. Although women were not formally under military command until the early 20th century, they have served in various capacities, beginning with the Revolutionary War. Thereafter, more than 400 women fought in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War.
During World War I, about 35,000 women officially served as nurses and support staff. In World War II, 140,000 women served in the U.S. Army and the Women’s Army Corps performing critical jobs such as military intelligence, cryptography, and parachute rigging. Over 1,000 women flew aircraft for the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots.
In 1948, Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act granting women permanent status in the military, entitling them to Veterans’ benefits.
During the Vietnam War, 7,000 American military women served in Southeast Asia. In 1976, the first women were admitted to America’s service academies, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs. During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, more than 41,000 women are deployed to the combat zone.
In 1990, some 40,000 American military women were deployed during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Today, over 700,000 women have served post-9/11, including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Women Veterans are Trailblazers
Women Veterans continue to break barriers today modeling national service for generations to follow. Women use the skills and experiences from their military service to make achievements in their careers, contributions to their communities, and to become public service leaders. VA is committed to recognizing and honoring these achievements and providing women Veterans with the benefits and services they earned and deserve.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affair
Photos of U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Andrea Rasmussen, 2010, and Marcella Hayes, 2nd Lt. U.S. Army