Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023|
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The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed into law on June 12, 1948. It allowed women to serve as permanent, regular members of the armed forces for the first time.
Brigadier General (USAF, retired) Wilma Vaught, the driving force behind building the Military Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C., recounts, “I had just turned 18 years old when the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed into law by President Truman. This law was a turning point for women of my era, who were just beginning to consider a life of military service. It was a promise — that doors were opening, that barriers were breaking down, and that opportunities were opening up for women who loved this country and wanted to stand in defense of America in a time of conflict and uncertainty.”
It would take another 30 years before the military academies allowed women in 1976, closely followed by the Women’s Army Corps disbanding and integrating women into the regular Army in 1978.
I proudly entered with the first class with women to West Point. It was well-known how hard it was for anyone to succeed at the military academies. Little did we realize that our transition became a contentious social revolution sparking national talking heads to cadet-to-cadet debates.
These animosities brought out the worst and best in those around us. It was definitely a wild ride at West Point for my initial 118 sisters-in-arms and me. Upon graduation, we soon realized that integrating women into the regular Army was just getting started, and the revolution felt like déjà vu all over again, only magnified.
Among several veteran activities I currently support on Hawaii Island, I’ve been honored to chair the Hawaii Island Veterans Day Parade committee these past eight years. We’re planning the next parade for Nov. 4, 2023, to recognize military veterans.
I’m also a Military Women’s Memorial ambassador for the state of Hawaii. In this capacity, I could use everyone’s help to encourage all military women and their family members, especially for the women no longer with us, to be sure to register their veteran’s story for free at the womensmemorial.org website.
Of 3 million women who have served in uniform, only 300,000 are registered.
When we share these powerful stories of service and sacrifice, we inspire generations to come to protect our precious freedoms.
The 1948 Act was a significant milestone for women’s equality in the U.S. military. Seventy-five years later, servicewomen continue to break down barriers and defend this country.
(Colonel, USA, retired)
The article of June 12 regarding canceling of the canoe regattas seems a little suspicious to me.
I know West Hawaii has historically had a somewhat contentious relationship with state Department of Land and Natural Resources. It started out by the west side preventing DLNR from trying to increase the number of permit morning points for large boats on Keauhou Bay and stopping them from monetizing the parking lots at the Honokohau Boat Harbor.
I do not approve of damaging coral, but I am surprised that in a county where people seem to be able to set up camp anywhere, litter public spaces and abandon vehicles, the DLNR was able to send divers down to investigate within hours of the alleged offense.
Apparently, the DLNR has also prohibited all future regattas on the west side for the time being even though the investigation has not been completed, there by punishing all of Hawaii.
My sense is it there may be a little retribution in their decisions. Because of unfavorable past public opinion from the west side regarding the DLNR’s past behavior, and instead of using this incident as a teaching moment, the DLNR seems to have chosen to say gotcha to all the canoe clubs on the west side.
Was this a setup?
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