Story by: Pvt. Rachel Sanzo - 42nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Dated: Fri, Jun 13, 2008
Mary Davis, an Army nurse during World War II, poses with a jacket adorned with unit patches given to her by former patients during the women veterans ceremony at the Capitol in Albany, June 12, 2008. (Photo by Pvt. Rachel Sanzo, 42nd Infantry Division Public Affairs)
Female members of the New York Army National Guard, Air National Guard, and women veterans who served in World War II and Korea, were recognized and honored by the New York State Assembly.
A ceremony in their honor was held at the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building in Albany, June 12, 2008.
“The Assembly invited women veterans from across New York State to pay tribute and personally thank them for their dedication and service to our country,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Women Veterans.
"Women bring a unique and important perspective to any endeavor, including military service. There can be no doubt that women have the skills, courage, and perseverance to positively influence the modern military," said Lupardo. "We must work hard to overcome gender stereotypes that attempt to limit what women can achieve."
The service members were present in the rear of the Assembly Chamber during the adoption of two Legislative resolutions honoring female Soldiers and Airmen who have served in combat zones.
One of the resolutions adopted declared June 12, 2008 as “Women Veterans Recognition Day”, while the second commemorated the 60th Anniversary of the Women’s Armed Service Integration Act.
“The presence of the honorable female veterans here is a testament to the sacrifice they have made over the ages to the service of our country,” said Assemblyman Darryl Towns, an Air Force veteran.
The female military members and veterans later partook of lunch in the Well of the State Capitol, where they were able to interact and discuss with each other their experiences in the service while at home and overseas.
“Females play a very important role in the military,” said Geraldine Rohner, a retired Master Sgt. of the New York National Guard and Northville, Warren County native. “Women are able to fight right alongside their male counterparts, which I find to be amazing this day in age.”
According to the United States Census, there are 1.7 million women veterans. During World War II, over 400,000 women served in uniform. More than 180,000 have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since those wars began.
“I truly enjoyed meeting my senior counterparts and supporting the women veterans,” said Capt. Elizabeth Condon, a contract specialist for the Division of Military and Naval Affairs. “It was a true privilege to be able to thank in person those that walked the walk before me, allowing me to have the opportunity to sit where I sit today.”