This page is dedicated to my friend, Pat. A
former Air Force Captain and nurse in Vietnam, she has still to learn the
contribution she has made, the lives she has saved and touched, and the
difference she has made in the world. The only things she remembers
are the things she thinks she did not do. She and the others like
her could not be God, though they wished at times that they could be. It
was those she saved that remember her. I hope that one day she will fully
understand that the men she helped to save outweigh the ones that she could
not, and that she is so very well loved. Pat, my "sissy", you are my hero.
You are everything that is good about America. My wish for you is that
you will soon understand what you have given and what you are worth to me
and to thousands of men who would never have come home without you and
the women like you. I love ya sis.
Throughout the history of our country there have
been women who served this Nation. Most notably in recent decades, when their
contributions were more visible. But the service of women has only
recently begun to be recognized for the value it has. Countless women have
lost their lives in wars and conflicts while attempting to support our soldiers,
transport troops, and save lives.
It is time that their honor, courage, and humanity,
is recognized and that this nation begins to help them realize their value.
It is time that we said "thank you ladies....and Welcome Home".
I wonder how many people really know about the
women prisoners of war, in WWII? Some were civilian families of soldiers,
some were Nuns, and some were military women. All of them suffered torture
and starvation, and most of them survived through their own wit, strength
of character, and tenacity.
They confounded the Japanese every day. The Japanese
soldiers and officers could not believe that these "mere" women could have
the strength and heart that these women had. In the end, these women beat
their captors, because by the time they were forced to let them go, they
had no choice but to respect these women. Our own country did not recognize
their sacrifice until many many years later. And even then, they were
not awarded the same status as their male counterparts.
Women trained as pilots in WWII and flew bombers
and transport plans from factories to Air Bases so that men could be freed
to be useful elsewhere. There were dangers, and several of these women died.
If not for them, many bombers would not have been available when
During the Korean "conflict", in the years of 1949
through 1953, women served as nurses and support personnel by the thousands.
A new concept called "MASH" units had become widely used and they were full
of female personnel.
There are a number of incidents in which women
risked their own lives and safety in order to save the lives
of wounded soldiers. They literally threw their own bodies on top of the
wounded, to save them from further harm, whenever the fighting came too close.
Often dying or being wounded themselves in the bargain. But they were
never honored in the same way a man would have been. They call Korea the
"Forgotten War" because our troops were virtually ignored upon their return
home. It was as though nothing had happened. But it did, and it happened
During the years of the Vietnam war, women showed
strength, courage and honor beyond even their own belief. There were women
who rode the "huey's" with the men to make wounded pick-ups in the
field; women who risked their lives protecting wounded soldiers in the triage
stations and field hospitals; women who had to kill or be killed. It
was a time that 2 generations will never forget. Nor should they, in
some ways. No one had the homecoming that was afforded our men and women
in WWII. In fact, they were mostly worse than unwelcome, and they have lived
with the fallout ever since. Like their male counterparts, military women
from this era have been suffering, when in fact they should have been able
to be proud of their service to this country.
There are literally thousands of stories about
the valor of our women in the military. Sadly, they are not as widely read
as they should be. I hope that I can provide links to some of these stories
of heroism, and also, links to things that may interest all of us.
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