Friday declared ‘Women’s Veterans Day’
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear has signed a proclamation declaring June 12, 2020, Women Veterans Day in Kentucky.
“Kentucky honors the tremendous sacrifices our women in uniform have made in order to defend our country,” Beshear said. “We owe a profound debt of gratitude to our female veterans, and today we ask that their spirit never be forgotten.”
Women are veterans of every conflict and peacetime military effort of the United States since before World War II and face the same risks as their male counterparts in today’s military operations. However, women veterans face unique challenges and are far less likely than their male counterpoints to seek and receive the veterans’ benefits and services they have earned.
“While on active duty and as veterans, women service members face multiple obstacles throughout their lives,” said Keith Jackson, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs and a retired Army lieutenant colonel. “We must recognize that disparity and vow to change it.”
Today, women are serving in great numbers in the U.S. military and make up 20% of new recruits, 16% of personnel serving on active duty and 19% of the National Guard and reserve forces. About 25,000 women veterans live in Kentucky.
“Commemorating Kentucky’s women veterans on June 12 will bring attention to their contributions, sacrifices and valor, as well as challenges that women in the Armed Forces continue to face. Thank you to our women veterans who have bravely served our country,” said State Representative Patti Minter (D-Warren-part) who sponsored House Bill 318 (GA20) and has prefiled House Bill Request 68 (GA21) to designate June 12 Women Veterans Day in the commonwealth.”
This June 12 marks the 72nd anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1948. It acknowledged the great contributions made by women in the military and finally enabled them to serve as regular members of the United States Armed Forces and Reserves.
“This act allowed women to serve in all branches of the military and entitled them to their veterans’ benefits,” said Candace Bradley, KDVA’s Women Veterans Coordinator. “This recognition is important historically, but also today to ensure women veterans know of their earned benefits.”