Kentucky one of 14 states to celebrate Women Veterans Day
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - History was made in Kentucky Saturday night, as a crowd of close to 2000 people gathered in the Blue Grass Airport to welcome home the first all-woman Honor Flight. A way to give veterans the recognition for their service they deserve.
“Very wonderful to spend the day with all of the other female veterans and hear their stories. And just so many female veterans from Kentucky. It was amazing,” said Navy Veteran Davina Warner.
Warner joined more than 130 other women-veterans flying to DC and back. Across the nation there are almost two-million women Veterans. And as of June 12, 2018, 14 states celebrate Women’s Veterans Day, including Kentucky.
“It’s quite the opposite of when we came home from Vietnam. It’s a very good thing to see people respecting veterans. Being in the service is a challenge,” said Veteran Woodrow Friend.
First starting his service in Vietnam and ending his combat tours in Desert Storm, Woodrow Friend explains it’s been an even greater challenge for women in the service to gain the recognition they deserve.
“During World War Two we had female pilots. There were two or three thousand of them,” Friend said.
Even then, it wasn’t until President Harry Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act on June 12,1948, finally granting women the right to serve as permanent members of the armed forces.
And it would take another 70 years for Women Veterans Day begins to be celebrated.
“It’s so wonderful to see how many people here in the Commonwealth are supportive of us female-veterans,” Warner said.
“I’m an army brat and for me it’s an opportunity to welcome home the soldiers who should have gotten the welcome home they deserved to begin with. I was too young to begin with, and now I’m not. So when you know better, you do better. Especially for this one. I just think it’s so important for one for all of the females to be in support of each other because we’re a strong 60 percent now and we count,” said Jenny Brown, a Hardin County resident welcoming home a family friend.
The goal of Kentucky’s Women Veteran’s Program, established in 2005, is to discourage discrimination, making sure women veterans receive benefits and services equal to their male counterparts, and ensuring their hard work and sacrifice is never forgotten.
“There are really no words. I mean I was just so emotional, very tearful. I felt just so appreciated by the people of Kentucky. It felt good. It felt good to know that my service meant something to them,” Warner said.
The program also ensures women veterans have access to Federal and State Veterans’ services and benefits.
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