Women Veterans Day: Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Big Moment for Women of the Real America’s Team
The Dallas Cowboys are known as America’s Team, a nickname bestowed upon them in an NFL Films video in 1979. But did you know the real America’s Team, the U.S. Military, is celebrating a very important anniversary on June 12th, Women Veterans Day? Did you even know there is a Women Veterans Day? Its purpose is to recognize the contribution of women who pledged to protect and serve our country by joining the United States Armed Forces.
Seventy years ago, on June 12, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act allowing women to serve as regular members of the military. In 2017, the Texas Senate passed Texas Senate Bill 805 which designates June 12thas Women Veterans Day in Texas. According to the Veterans Administration, women are now the fastest growing group within the veteran population.
The Cowboys’ ties to our military women & men extend well beyond the NFL’s Salute to Service events which take place throughout the league in November.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Erin Hutcherson of JBSA-Lackland, the top female performer at February’s 2018 Dallas Cowboys-Caliber Collision Military Combine, announced one of the Cowboys’ draft picks during this past spring’s NFL Draft. Last year, Sgt. 1stClass Shonta Tucker, an Army Platoon Sergeant at Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Unit, won honors as the top female at the 2017 Combine.
Of course, when it comes to service, the Dallas Cowboys have a rich tradition of male players/coaches that served with honor. Star players such as Roger Staubach (Navy), Cliff Harris (Army), and Chad Hennings (Air Force) have a combined 7 Super Bowl rings. Hall of Fame head coach Tom Landry completed a combat tour of 30 missions as a US Army Air Corps bomber copilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress during World War II. Current Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli served in Vietnam with the US Marine Corps.
But in addition to these players and coaches, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders also have a proud tradition of working with the US military. The DCC have traveled across the globe on 83 USO Tours, the most of any entertainer or entertainment group in U.S. history. They are the first organization to win The Spirit of Hope Award from the USO. They’ve also won the American Legion’s Distinguished Service Medal.
Since their first USO Tour in 1979, the DCC have traveled to more than 42 countries and continually encounter increasing numbers of women service members stationed at military bases around the world.
It is a privilege for the Cowboys’ organization and 5 Points Blue to salute the more than 200,000 (and growing) women serving in the active duty military, and the hundreds of thousands of Women Veterans that preceded them and paved the way for this current generation of women to have an integral part in the success of the country. The number of women joining the military continues to increase. In fact, the Department of Veteran Affairs has predicted that by 2020 women will comprise 11% of the total population of military veterans.
This year’s Women Veterans Day events throughout the country are a chance to support and cheer on accomplishments of female service members that began long before President Truman signed the Integration Act in 1948.
During the American Revolution (1775-1783), women served on the battlefield as nurses, water bearers, cooks, launderesses…even as saboteurs! In the Civil War (1861-1865) women provided medical care at field hospitals. In 1866, Dr Mary Walker received the Medal of Honor, the only woman to receive the nation’s highest military honor. Also, during the Civil War, women soldiers for both the Union and Confederacy disguised themselves as men in order to serve. During World War II, more than 400,000 American military women (including over 60,000 Army nurses) served at home and overseas in nearly all non-combat jobs.
Following World War II, when President Truman signed The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948, women were granted permanent status in the Regular and Reserve forces of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps as well as the newly created Air Force (source: WomensMemorial.org). Over 7,000 American military women served in southeast Asia during The Vietnam War.
To see the rapid advancements and achievements of women throughout American military history, especially over the past 40 years, check out the timeline of highlights at WomensMemorial.org: https://www.womensmemorial.org/timeline
Groups like the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center are able to use Women Veterans Day to spread the word about their year-round mission: positioning veteran women business owners for success through public/private-sector opportunities, funding, research, alliances, and resources.
The Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center is promoting 2018 Women Veterans Day events and activities throughout North Texas, including Tuesday morning’s Stepping in Solidarity Morning Formation at Dallas City Hall’s Flag Room, and Evening Receptions throughout the DFW Area. The Women Veterans Day event in Denton takes place in Little Elm Park.
If you would like to take part in Women Veterans Day special 70thanniversary celebration, here’s a link to a page that will help you find the various activities planned in cities throughout the state of Texas (hit the link and, once on that page, scroll down to “Events Around Texas”:
And if you would like to learn more about the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center and their programs and services to help veteran women business owners, link here: https://veteranwomensec.org/