Home | Ketchikan | Alaska | Sports | Waterfront | Business | Education | Religion | Scene
Classifieds | Place a class ad | PDF Edition | Home Delivery


11/6/2019
Honor

Alaska’s two senators will be joining an effort to honor female military veterans.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan support a resolution that would encourage the U.S. Postal Service to issue a postage stamp series in honor of brave women who served in the armed forces.

The resolution was introduced Tuesday.

Among the more than a dozen women listed as potential candidates for stamps is an Alaskan, Colonel Mary Louise Rasmuson.

Rasmuson enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private during World War II. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and later President John F. Kenney appointed her to be the director of the Women’s Army Corps.

She is credited with integrating black women into the WAC, ensuring that the Army opened new military occupational specialties to active duty enlisted women and women reservists, and she fought for active duty credit for service in the precursor to the WAC, according to a press release from Murkowski’s office.

The honors date back to the Revolutionary War when Deborah Sampson of Massachusetts disguised herself as a man in order to join the fight, and the Civil War when Dr. Mary Edwards Walker of New York served as a surgeon for the Union.

Another is Cathay Williams of Missouri, who was born a slave and served in the Army. Hazel Lee of Oregon, the first Asian-American woman to become a pilot in the armed forces, flew with the Women Airforce Service Pilots during WWII. Specialist Lori Piestewa of Arizona was the first Native woman to make the ultimate sacrifice and the first women member of the armed forces killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Others served in WWI, the Korean War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, in Afghanistan and Syria. Some survived, others died. More than one received a medal of honor or another distinction for military service.

Everyone’s military contribution is important despite gender, ethnicity, or other defining factors. It is appropriate to note that all are represented and recognized, and by calling for a postage stamp series for female military veterans, that is accomplished for women.