WASHINGTON, DC: Today, on the 75th anniversary of women being permitted to serve in the Armed Forces, Navy veteran Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) was joined by fellow Navy veteran Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Air Force veterans Congresswomen Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13) and Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), and Army veteran Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-01) in introducing a resolution designating June 12 as Women Veterans Appreciation Day.
“The time I spent serving our country as a helicopter pilot in the United States Navy was incredible,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “I’m honored to fight for our female active-duty servicemembers and veterans in Congress and be an advocate for the critical role they play in our military community. I’m proud to join my fellow women veterans in Congress to introduce this resolution which recognizes the over two million female veterans in our country!”
“Throughout my time in Congress, it has been a mission of mine to federally recognize Women Veterans Appreciation Day to help bring attention to the unique needs of women veterans and to honor their service to our country,” said Rep. Sherrill. “As a former Navy helicopter commander, I am proud to co-lead this resolution alongside my fellow women veterans serving in Congress. This is a resolution deeply important to women veterans in my district and with the strong bipartisan support in this Congress, I am hopeful this is the year we get this resolution across the finish line.”
“As an Air Force Veteran myself, I can tell you that it takes a tremendous amount of fight and perseverance to serve in the armed forces. Our incredible women in the military represent the very best of our nation, and I am honored to co-sponsor this resolution to give them the respect and honor they deserve,” said Rep. Luna.
“As a veteran, I take great pleasure in publicly honoring our women veterans on this special day of recognition. Women have served in the military since before the U.S. became a nation, and despite significant barriers for recognition since then, women have been, and continue to be, an essential key to our military might. Today and every day, I give a deep thanks to our women veterans and their sacrifice to our country,” said Houlahan.
“Women play a crucial and indispensable role in our military and work diligently to keep our country safe,” said Miller-Meeks. “As a 24-year Army veteran, I had the opportunity to serve alongside these brave women who lead with strength and resolve. I am proud to recognize the accomplishments of women in our military and encourage more young women to serve our great country.”
This resolution is endorsed by the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the National Military Family Association, the United States Army Warrant Officers Association, the Minority Veterans of America, the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A., and the Military Chaplains Association.
“We are so grateful to the members of Congress who put forward this Resolution,” said Lorry Fenner (Colonel, USAF Retired), of the Service Women’s Action Network. “On this 75th Anniversary of women’s integration into the regular military, it is important to note that women raised their hands to serve in uniform before they had the right to vote and had regular military status. Women have served through the decades with many artificial limits on their contributions. While we have more to do to ensure women can fully support our national security, this is truly a red-letter date.”
While more than 300,000 women enlisted in the military and served during World War II, it was not until the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman 75 years ago today, that women could serve as permanent members of the United States Armed Forces. Following the bill’s signing, nearly 120,000 women served in active-duty capacity during the Korean War.
Today, women make up 19% of enlisted forces and 20% of the officer corps. Additionally, at over two million and counting, women are the fastest growing veteran population and are projected to make up nearly 20% of the overall veteran population in the United States within the next 25 years.
This resolution is cosponsored by Reps. Derek Kilmer (WA-06), John Garamendi (CA-08), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Jason Crow (CO-06), Jack Bergman (MI-01), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Nancy Mace (SC-01), Carlos Gimenez (FL-28), Susie Lee (NV-03), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Don Davis (NC-01), Pat Ryan (NY-18), Chris Deluzio (PA-17), and Don Bacon (NE-02).