Friday marks the 12th annual women veterans appreciation ceremony in the Hall of Flags at the State House. One female veteran will receive the Deborah Sampson Award, named for the Massachusetts native who disguised herself as a man in order to fight during the Revolutionary War. Another way in which women veterans are honored is through the I Am Not Invisible project. There are about 2 million women veterans and many employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office who are women veterans. I Am Not Invisible aims to increase awareness and dialogue.
My mother is a proud Navy Veteran who was in service to our country during World War II and the Korean War. She will be 95 on Saturday, and can often be heard saying she’d enlist again if they’d have her. My mother chose to sell her home and live the rest of her life at the Bedford VA long-term care facility, a place she loves.
I hope that those of you who feel moved to honor veterans on Veterans Day and other times of the year, especially those in VA facilities, will remember that there are women veterans living there as well. My mother loves the cards she receives from schoolchildren whose teachers organize letter- and card-writing, and the gifts (such as large men’s socks) from community groups, corporations, and places of worship. Most of the gifts and cards are for men, however. So on this Veterans Day and all those that follow, please remember our women veterans.
Nancy H. Sheridan