Lady Vet

Air Force Veteran Katy Doggett in a contemplative gaze.

Proof of Service, Please: One Woman’s Journey From Proud Airman to Invisible Veteran

She stepped out of her car and was immediately accosted by a man in the parking lot. He pointed out that her husband was not there. She responded politely that she was aware. He kept talking, adamant that she was in the wrong. “Well you can’t park there. This is for Veterans only.”

She told the man she was a Veteran. He insisted she was not. But she didn’t back down. “I said, I was in the Air Force, I did my time. I have a DD-214. He said, ‘No you don’t. They don’t look like you in the Air Force.’”

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Angels of Bataan: Army Nurses in Santo Tomas Prison Camp, 1943

Angels of Bataan: The Military Women who Survived Three Years in a World War II Prison Camp

Being stationed in the Philippines was a tropical dream in the early 1940’s. American military personnel found themselves with easy work days that left plenty of time to play in paradise. But in December of 1941—just 10 hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor—the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the Philippine Islands.

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Women in Combat: Christine Conley in Afghanistan

Women in Combat: How One Veteran Turned Struggle into Strength

After Conley separated from the Navy, she felt the intense gaze of others who didn’t understand what their curiosity cost her. It was like being under a microscope. At this point she was still having surgeries. People would see her in a wheelchair and ask a cascade of questions that left her feeling very uncomfortable. Eventually she stopped talking about being a Veteran, and if people made assumptions, she let them go. “I wouldn’t do anything to correct them because it was just easier. And people don’t always need to know everything. I definitely downplayed and was almost secretive about what I did. Because [I got] everything from disbelief to that awful question: did you kill anybody?”

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WAF Airman Mary Chisholm in Uniform

Meet Mary Hamrick, the Korean War Era Veteran Who Helped Pave the Way for Others

We recently had the honor of speaking with Mary Chisholm Hamrick; a Korean War Era Veteran who served during a groundbreaking period of changes for women in the military. Now 87, she is easygoing in conversation and carries a warm demeanor with a natural smile. And she speaks about her military service with a look of fond nostalgia and a sprinkle of humor.

Meet Mary Hamrick, the Korean War Era Veteran Who Helped Pave the Way for Others Read More »

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