Happy Veterans Day From YWCA National Capital Area

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Happy Veterans Day From YWCA National Capital Area

Categories: Blog, News

Today is Veterans Day, which honors military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Their sacrifice and commitment to service is worthy of recognition and YWCA National Capital Area thanks all veterans for their service. 

Did you know that there are nearly 2 million living women veterans in the United States, making up approximately 10% of the overall veteran population according to the US Department of Labor.  

They are also the fastest growing group in the veteran population, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2000, women veterans represented just 4 percent of the total veteran population, and, by 2040, they are poised to represent 18 percent.  

Women have been officially serving in the Armed Forces since 1948, when President Harry S. Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law. But, that doesn’t mean women didn’t find ways to serve before. 

For example:

  • During the Revolutionary War, Margaret Corbin disguised herself as a man and traveled with her husband to the front lines. When he was injured, she continued fighting and was given a military pension and reburied at West Point with full military honors in acknowledgment of her efforts.
  • Historians estimate that about 1,000 women disguised themselves as men and fought on both sides of the Civil War.
  • During WWI & WWII, many women took non-combat roles, such as nurses, telephone/switchboard operators, and translators. In WWII alone, nearly 350,000 American women served in uniform, but not officially.

Despite this growth and significant contributions to our country, women veterans continue to be underrecognized, experience increased rates of sexual violence during military service, and have a more difficult time returning to civilian life, compared to their male counterparts.  

So, what can we do to support women veterans today and beyond? Here some suggestions:

Happy Veterans Day. We are thankful to all that served.