June 12, 2020: Women Veterans Recognition Day

WHEREAS, women have proudly served their country throughout the history of the United States, whether disguised as male soldiers during the American Revolution and Civil War, as nurses in World War I, or as combat helicopter pilots in Afghanistan; and,

 

WHEREAS, women have formally been a part of the United States Armed Forces since the inception of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901, but have informally served since the inception of our nation’s military; and,  

 

WHEREAS, in 1917, the Navy announced it would open enlistment to women, and about 12,000 entered the Navy and filled a variety of jobs, including draftsmen, interpreters, couriers, and translators; and,

 

WHEREAS, at the conclusion of World War II in 1945, approximately 280,000 of the 12 million people remaining in the Armed Forces were women; and,  

 

WHEREAS, with the passage of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948, women became a permanent part of the United States military, but were restricted to 2 percent of the military population. The restriction was finally lifted in 1967 with the amendment of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, which also opened senior officer ranks to women; and,

 

WHEREAS, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, several laws were passed that recognized the many contributions made by women in World War II and formally granted women with Veteran status for their time in service, which opened the doors for women to take advantage of programs, opportunities, and benefits from the federal and state governments, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other Veteran service organizations; and,

 

WHEREAS, there are currently over 2 million women Veterans living in the United States and Puerto Rico, and, of this number, nearly 44,000 make Michigan their home;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim June 12, 2020, as Women Veterans Recognition Day in Michigan and urge all Michiganders to honor women Veterans on this momentous occasion.