Today, Michigan honors its more than 43,000 women veterans with the state’s third Women Veterans Recognition Day.
Although women have served in the military since the Revolutionary War, they weren’t allowed to serve as permanent, regular service members until President Harry Truman signed the Armed Services Integration Act on June 12, 1948.
June 12 has been adopted around the United States to recognize women veterans for their contributions and sacrifices while serving in the military. In Michigan, a proclamation signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and a resolution passed by the state House both declare today Women Veterans Recognition Day.
“I am so honored to help women veterans across the state celebrate our third Women Veterans Recognition Day here in Michigan,” said Zaneta Adams, Director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and Army veteran. “This day is meant to raise awareness of the many women who have served in the military. Our hope is that the more we raise awareness, the better veteran-specific services will become for women veterans.”
To honor women of the military, the MVAA is releasing new content from its She Is a Veteran campaign, which highlights a diverse group of women veterans across Michigan and the issues they face while serving and transitioning from the military.
The first story in the campaign is of Candy Robertson, a retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer. Robertson experienced guilt over leaving her young son while on deployment, was one of two women to complete survival training with the Navy Seals and faced challenges preparing herself for the often-difficult transition from military to civilian life.
“The intent of the campaign is to raise awareness that women are veterans too, encourage them to identify, connect to resources and benefits, and engage with the veteran community,” says Erika Hoover, MVAA’s newly appointed Women Veterans & Special Populations Coordinator and Navy veteran.
Nationwide, there are 2 million women veterans, making up nearly 10 percent of the total veteran population. And the number of women veterans is steadily increasing, making veteran-specific health, education and other services even more important for these patriots.