Warren, Murkowski, McSally, Tester, Harris, Sullivan, Gillibrand and Hassan Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Honor Women Veterans
Resolution urges U.S. Postal Service to issue a commemorative postage stamp series honoring women veterans of the Armed Forces
Boston, MA - 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 introduced the Senate companion to a House resolution urging 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.
"Women veterans are tough, smart, and have made incredible sacrifices to protect our country," said Senator Warren. "I appreciate the opportunity to partner with my Senate colleagues on this bipartisan resolution to commemorate the hard work and dedication of some of the boldest, most courageous women veterans in our nation's history."
"Since the Revolutionary War, American women have served our nation in the military, distinguishing themselves by their bravery, skill, and contributions to our freedom. Alaskan women, too, have answered their country's call. One such woman was Mary Louise Rasmuson, who enlisted as a Private in the Women's Army Corps during WWII, rose to the rank of Colonel, and retired in 1962 as the highly-respected Director of the Corps, having opened new military occupational specialties for women of all races," said Senator Murkowski. "Colonel Rasmuson is just one female veteran among many who have made significant contributions to the military. 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. 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."
"Women have played key roles in defending our country since the American Revolution. Their stories of commitment and sacrifice need to be honored, told, and remembered," Senator McSally said. "These 'Forever' stamps will honor our female veterans, including Specialist Lori Piestewa of Arizona, the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the Armed Forces."
"Women have always played an essential role in our nation's military," said Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester. "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. It's time we do right by these brave women, pass this bipartisan resolution, and give them the recognition they have undeniably 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 Captain Moreno and all of our service members and their families, but I am proud to join my colleagues to honor our women veterans and pay tribute to the contributions they have made to our country."
"I'm pleased to be able to join my colleagues, including a few who've proudly served in our military, in recognizing the grit, selflessness and love of country of America's women veterans," said Senator Sullivan. "This new collection of stamps would help bring about greater awareness of the impressive women who've served in our Armed Forces for more than 200 years, and hopefully inspire a new generation of young women to carry on their legacy."
"Too many of the selfless and brave women who risked their lives serving in our military never received the recognition they deserve, and Congress should be doing more to honor these women," said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing a bipartisan resolution to pay tribute to these courageous veterans by creating a commemorative postage stamp series of women veterans of the Armed Forces. I urge others to support this resolution so we can finally honor heroes like New Yorkers Margaret Corbin, Mary Edwards Walker, Shannon Kent, and Margaret Zane Fleming, who fought to protect our country."
"Too often in history, women in male-dominated roles get overshadowed, despite the important contributions that they've made in their field, not to mention the barriers that they broke," Senator Hassan said. "I am proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution to recommend a stamp series be made to honor women veterans from the Revolutionary War to the present for their critical role in keeping our country safe, secure, and free."
Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) first introduced this resolution in the House of Representatives.
"Over two million women veterans have served our nation with honor and distinction. Many of them have gone from being the most visible member of their unit to the most invisible member of our nation's veteran community. We must do everything we can to continue to let the American people know who they are, how they served our nation, and that we will stand by the promise to provide them with the care they have earned and deserve," said Congresswoman Brownley. "That is why I introduced this resolution in the House to call for the issuance of a 'Forever' stamp series to help raise the visibility of these heroes."
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, and 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.
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