Women veterans exhibit marks Women’s History Month
(Press release) — A large exhibit commemorating 110 years of service by Wyoming’s women veterans opens at the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum Feb. 14. These 20 stories will be featured in the Kading Gallery through February 2015.
An opening reception for the exhibit will be held Feb. 22, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and will feature free sample doughnuts prepared from the historic recipe used by the “Doughnut Dollies” of the Salvation Army supporting the American Expeditionary Force during World War I.
Acceptance of women into the U.S. armed forces has been a long and challenging proposition. It started in 1901 when Congress established the Army Nurse Corps, a military organization without rank, equal pay or benefits.
The concept of women in uniform began to change during World War II, when a labor shortage meant that women were desperately needed by all branches of the armed forces and civilian industry to contribute to the war effort. Beginning with the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948, women were authorized for regular and reserve service in the military. With this legislation women were permanently recognized as full-fledged members of the military. However, service by women continued to be restricted during Korea and Vietnam, but gradually expanded during the Cold War era. Although women were eligible for numerous military roles beginning in the 1970s, only in 2012 were combat positions opened to women.
Today, women are full members of the armed forces, and are completely integrated into all roles and responsibilities of the military services. It has required over a century to fulfill.
The Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum is located at 3740 Jourgensen St., Casper, Wyo. It is free to the public. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.