Bipartisan Resolution to Honor Women Veterans Passes Senate Unanimously
Resolution Championed by Warren, Murkowski, McSally, Tester, Harris, Sullivan, Gillibrand and Hassan Urges Postal Service to Issue a Commemorative Stamp Series Honoring Women Veterans of the Armed Forces
Washington, D.C. - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), SASC member and 26-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), SASC and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee member, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), SASC member and Ranking Member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) today applauded the unanimous passage of their bipartisan resolution to urge the U.S. Postal Service to issue a commemorative postage stamp series honoring women veterans of the Armed Forces and calling for the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend to the Postmaster General that such a stamp series be issued.
"Our women veterans have made incredible sacrifices to keep our nation safe, and they deserve our full support," said Senator Warren. "I'm glad that my Senate colleagues agree, and recognize the contributions of these bold, courageous women throughout our nation's history."
"Across every branch, women have served bravely and selflessly alongside their brothers and sisters in uniform in combat, behind the lines in foreign lands, and here at home," said Senator Murkowski. "I'm glad to support this legislation that serves as a testament to the women who have sacrificed to protect the liberties and freedoms that all Americans hold so dear."
"Throughout American history, women such as Specialist Lori Piestewa of Arizona have played crucial roles in defending our country," said Senator McSally. "I applaud my colleagues for supporting this resolution to honor the commitment and sacrifice of our female veterans."
"For the many thousands of women who have taken the oath to protect our country-some of whom gave their lives while doing it-this resolution is a small token of gratitude from a grateful nation," said Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester. "I'm glad to see my colleagues pass this resolution, doing right by these brave women and giving them the recognition they earned."
"Captain Jennifer M. Moreno of California courageously sacrificed her life to protect others," said Senator Harris. "We will never be able to repay the enormous debt we owe her and all of our service members and their families, but issuing a commemorative stamp is one small way we can honor female veterans now and in the future. I am pleased that this resolution is one step closer to reality."
"I'm pleased that my Senate colleagues recognize the grit, selflessness and love of country of America's women veterans, and I am hopeful that this new collection of stamps will inspire a new generation of young women to carry on their legacy," said Senator Sullivan.
"Too many of the selfless and brave women who risked their lives serving in our military never received the recognition they deserve," said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I am glad my colleagues came together to honor heroes, like New Yorkers Margaret Corbin, Mary Edwards Walker, Shannon Kent, and Margaret Zane Fleming, who fought to protect our country."
"I am thrilled that this bipartisan resolution to honor exemplary women veterans - who are often overlooked in the history books - passed the Senate unanimously." Senator Hassan said, "We must support women veterans and service members in all aspect of their lives to ensure that they receive the support that they need and have earned."
Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) first introduced this resolution in the House of Representatives, and the Senate companion was introduced by Senators Warren, Murkowski, McSally, Tester, Harris, Sullivan, Gillibrand and Hassan earlier this month.
There are approximately 2,000,000 women veterans of the Armed Forces currently living in the United States and Puerto Rico, who have served the United States with honor and distinction; and yet, their service is often forgotten, and they become invisible veterans. Women veterans of the Armed Forces have made invaluable contributions to the United States since the American Revolution. All women who have served in the Armed Forces throughout our Nation's history, whether on the frontlines, in support positions behind the lines, or here at home have marked a trail of honor for those who will follow them. These women warriors should be honored for their service and recognized for their important contributions to the United States. The bipartisan resolution recognizes historic women veterans such as:
- Deborah Sampson of Massachusetts, who disguised herself as a man in order to fight in the Revolutionary War, was wounded in battle, and was the only woman to earn a military pension for her service in the Revolutionary Army;
- Dr. Mary Edwards Walker of New York, who served as a surgeon for the Union during the American Civil War and is the only woman to have been awarded the Medal of Honor;
- Cathay Williams of Missouri, who was born a slave, enlisted in the Regular Army disguised as a man, and served in the American West for three years;
- Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee, Canadian born but resided in Florida upon her death, a nurse in the Navy who served during World War I, and who was the first woman to receive the Navy Cross;
- Hazel Lee of Oregon, the first Asian-American woman to become a pilot in the Armed Forces, and who flew with the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II;
- Colonel Mary Louise Rasmuson of Alaska, who enlisted in the Army as a private during World War II, was appointed by Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy as Director of the Women's Army Corps (WAC), worked to successfully integrate Black women into the WAC, ensured that the Army opened new military occupational specialties to active duty enlisted women and women reservists, and successfully fought for active duty credit for service in the precursor to the WAC;
- Margaret Zane Fleming of New York and her 12 colleagues with the 1st Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, who landed at Inchon, Korea, on September 15, 1950, and the many other nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and other women who saved lives on the front lines of the Korean War;
- Specialist Lori Piestewa of Arizona, a member of the Hopi Tribe, who was the first Native American woman in history to die in combat while serving in the Armed Forces and the first woman member of the Armed Forces killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom;
- First Lieutenant Ashley White of Ohio and Captain Jennifer Moreno of Califonia, both soldiers and members of the Cultural Support Teams of the Army, who gave their lives for the United States while serving in action alongside the special operations forces they supported in Afghanistan; and
- United States Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent of New York, a cryptologic technician who was killed in action in Manbij, Syria.
The resolution has been endorsed by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and Service Women's Action Network (SWAN).
Senator Warren is a strong advocate for women veterans. She cosponsored the Deborah Sampson Act, which improves health care and services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to women veterans, successfully led an effort to require the VA to prioritize the expansion of a peer counseling program for women veterans, called on the VA to cover the dispensing of contraceptives to women veterans in one-year supplies in order to address gaps in the contraceptive care that they need, and introduced a bill with Senator Duckworth (D-Ill.) to require providers at the VA to inform patients of the option to request a full-year supply of contraception instead of the standard three-month supply.
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