Nevertheless She Persisted, the 2018 women’s history theme, could easily be the mantra of American women in the military. Because of social ideas about the female experience, women have often been written out of military history. Yet, women’s patriotic duty, no less than men’s have inspired hundreds of thousands of women to support their country during our times of need. Whether playing a supportive role as water bearers, cooks, laundresses, nurses or as active military (often having to pass as men).
In our recent history, women not only continue in vital support roles as nurses, but also in combat and as field commanders and as officers. The bravery of countless women since the establishment of our country gives us a legacy of strength and persistence. As greater numbers of women chose a military career and expand the diversity of the Armed Forces their stories expand our own sense of possibility and opportunity.
Deborah Sampson who disguised herself as a man was as a hero of the American revolution. She was given the dangerous task of scouting British territory. She is the only woman to receive a pension from the Revolutionary War.
Harriet Tubman served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. She was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, which liberated 700 enslaved people.
Dr. Mary Walker was an abolitionist, prisoner of war and Civil War surgeon. She is the only women to receive the Medal of Honor. .
Jacqueline Cochran was a pioneer in the field of aviation and was an essential contributor to establishing The Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) who worked as civil service pilots, test pilots and anti-aircraft artillery trainers
Diane Carlson Evans is a former Army nurse who served in Vietnam, founded the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation to spearhead a campaign to place a national monument in Washington, DC, recognizing the contributions of military women to their country, as well as civilian women’s patriotic service.
Delphine Netcalf-Foster was injured while serving as support for the Grave Registration Company Mission in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm/ Desert Shield. In 2017, she was elected as the first female African American national commander for the one million members of the Disabled American Veterans of America (DAVA).
Tammie Jo Schults currently is in the news because of her successful landing on April 17, 2018 of disabled Southwest Flight 1380. From her earliest memories, she always knew that she was destined to fly and challenged the countless barriers to keep women from earning their wings. In 1999, she became a military aviator paving the way for female flight pilots.
The women noted here are but a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of women who represent the female experience in the military. Please join the National Women’s History Project in honoring all women who have served our great country. Each and every service woman is the embodiment of the idea that Nevertheless She Persisted.
The National Women’s History Project recognizes and celebrates the diverse and historic accomplishments of women by providing informational services and educational and promotional materials. www.nwhp.org