women veteran

American Servicewomen in Vietnam

As women were not subject to the draft, all female Marines who served in Vietnam were there voluntarily. The majority of them were stationed in Saigon, where they worked with civilian populations during their off-duty hours. Staff Sergeant Ermalinda Salazar volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage. In a 1969 letter, Sergeant Salazar wrote that the orphanage of 75 children was run by 2 overworked nuns. She encouraged other Woman Marines to volunteer at the orphanage with her. Sergeant Salazar’s efforts resulted in a nomination for the 970 Unsung Heroine Award from the Ladies Auxiliary.

Staff Sergeant Ermalinda Salazar with two children from the St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage in Vietnam.

Learn more about “Remembering Vietnam.” 

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Women from the first all-female honor flight in the United Sates watch a Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Sept. 22, 2015, in Arlington, Va. There were 75 female veterans from World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War in attendance, as well as 75 escorts, who were also female veterans or active-duty military.

(U.S. Army photo by Rachel Larue/released)

You believe in equality?

Then you must believe that men should be allowed to cry, just like women are, without being called names for it.

Then you must believe men are allowed to wear revealing clothing and should be encouraged to wear makeup, just like women are. They’re either both encouraged, or both discuraged.

Then you must believe women don’t have to shave any body hair. If they have to do it, then men should be held at the same standards. It’s either both or none.

Then you must believe that bills should be split. No one is here to babysit you. Work for your money and pay the bills together (unless you decide that it’s best for one of you to not work and be a stay at home parent), but if not, be responsible!

Then you must believe some women can overpower some men and a man can be just as vulnarable as a woman in some situations.

Then you must believe women should be muscular too, or men shouldn’t have to be muscular.

Then you must believe a woman with facial hair (a mustache or sideburns) is the same as a man with facial hair and she shouldn’t be made fun of.

Then you must believe boys don’t have to be tall.

Then you must believe both partners should look good and they should equally pay on dates.

Then you must believe fat women should be treated with the same respect as fat men.

Then you mustn’t laugh at men who dress with feminine clothes or women who dress with masculine clothes.

Then you mustn’t discriminate men or women when it comes to “gendered” jobs. If a boy wants to be a babysitter, give him a change. If a woman wants to be a boxing player, give her a chance.

Then you must believe that skinny boys shouldn’t be told to “bulk up”. Also, accept that some people find them attractive just the way they are.

Then you must believe a woman shouldn’t look good in order to be taken seriously, just like a man.

Then you must believe men and women should be promoted the same in the media. If men are presented as average, with not so beautiful traits and facial hair, then so should women.

Then you must believe stay at home dads are just as valid as working dads.

Then you must believe that women need to work the same amount of time as men in order to be paid the same as men. You can’t go home and be paid the same as someone who works over time.

Then you must believe women can also be veterans.

Then you must believe that daughters should also be taught how to fight and defend themselves.

Then you must stop saying “man up”.

Then you must believe that men can be victims too sometimes and aren’t always the powerful one.

Then you must believe that house chores and childcare should be shared equally between the partners.

Also if you say “not all men” when men are generalized, don’t forget to say “not all women” when women are generalized.

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“President Obama honored a very special veteran [in the White House Oval Office recently]: 110-year-old Emma Didlake. A resident of Detroit, Didlake is believed to be the nation’s oldest veteran.

‘We are so grateful that she is here with us today… She is a great reminder not only of the sacrifices the Greatest Generation made.’ Obama said, but also the ‘trailblazing’ by women and African-American veterans.

Didlake ‘was a Private during the course of her service and her decorations include the Women’s Army Corps Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal,’ the White House said in a statement.” David Jackson, USA Today 

“Known to family as ‘Big Mama,’ Didlake was a 38-year-old wife and mother of five when she 'wanted to do something different’ and signed up for the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943, said her granddaughter, Marilyn Horne. She served stateside for about seven months during the war, as a private and driver.

After she was discharged, she and her family moved to Detroit in 1944 – and she quickly joined the local NAACP chapter. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 and received a lifetime achievement award two years ago from the chapter.” Jeff Karoub, The Associated Press 

1st Photo by Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images

All other photos by Evan Vucci/AP

I’ve had the chance to observe a lot of engineering hiring lately and it’s given me a lot of thoughts about diversity hiring.

Much of the screening process to hire for software jobs happens before you actually see an engineer write any code; you look at their resume and decide if they’re worth calling back, you talk to them on the phone and decide if they’re worth sending an at-home screen of some kind, you look at that and decide whether to bring them in for an interview. 

Now, obviously you can change around your standards for who you talk to and who you bring on for an on-site interview. There’s always a chance that a candidate will really impress you at the interview, even if they have a mediocre resume and aren’t impressive on a phone screen, but it’s not as likely. Maybe candidates who have pretty limited resumes and aren’t impressive on the phone have only a 5% chance of turning out, once you do an on-site, to be someone you want to hire. While candidates with a great resume who sound amazing on the phone have a 30% chance of turning out to be someone you want to hire.

Your engineering team does not want to interview twenty people to find someone hireable. They like writing software, not interviewing. If they sit through fifteen days of interviews with people who suck and aren’t hireable, they will be miserable. You will end up setting your bar higher, so that you don’t bother bringing people on for an onsite which they have only a 15% chance of passing, and you’ll inevitably pass up some great engineers you would have hired but you’ll also waste a lot less time.

So your engineering team wants more women/people of color/veterans/disabled people/etc. I feel like the narrative I’ve heard around affirmative action has been ‘either you can use it as a tiebreaker (i.e., when you have two equally qualified candidates you pick the candidate with the background you want) or you can pass up qualified candidates to pick less qualified ones or you can give up on diversity hiring altogether’.

And obviously there’s another option: you can be likelier to talk to them in the first place. You can let someone through to have an interview even if you think, based on the phone screen, there’s only a 15% chance that after the interview you’ll want to make them an offer. This does not involve hiring less qualified candidates, just talking to more people in order to miss fewer qualified ones. I think this is the most common actual diversity tradeoff involved in actual hiring, and it’s weird to me that it’s not even mentioned as a form diversity hiring can take when people are talking about the challenges of doing hiring appropriately.

(Incidentally the ‘tiebreaker’ thing is very very rarely what is going on, and pretty much never at a company like Google or Facebook. If Google interviews two great engineers they want, they’ll hire both of them, they don’t have to choose. They’re not trying to fill specific openings, they’re trying to get good engineers and place them on a team that has an opening.)

No Longer Invisible: Women Veterans and Homelessness after Military Service 

Women veterans are the fastest-growing demographic of homeless veterans in America today. Far from being a well-understood phenomenon, most people would be hard-pressed to even include women veterans in the overall picture of veteran homelessness — or recognize their unique risk factors and survival strategies. There’s no solid sense of even how many women veterans are homeless, because the choices they make when they are experiencing unstable housing, such as sleeping on couches at friends’ and family’s homes until their welcome runs out, leaves them generally out of the federal count of and excluded from public notice or the resources that they and often their dependent children with them need. The recent six-part series in the Huffington Post aims to change that, by addressing their invisibility directly.

We also firmly believe in “changing the narrative” about who becomes homeless, and moving it away from a subject of pity and concern to one of empathy with the survivors, who are remarkable women with important stories to tell. If our only response is sympathy, we won’t actually succeed in making enough of a difference here. These women served alongside their brothers, and when they come home, they have their own integration issues, challenges and successes. They have their own stories, and these are worth hearing and affirming. In the series, we get to meet some of these remarkable women veterans and ideally realize just how common — not exotic — a stumble off the path into homelessness can be. There are many ways to get there, including the aftermath of the all-too-prevalent military sexual trauma (MST), and it doesn’t have to be chronic, long-term mental health issues or substance use and abuse that creates the problem. In fact, there’s a risk that if we consider homeless women veterans to be outliers, we will miss the awareness of just how common an experience this is for too many women veterans, not just once but multiple times over the course of their post-military lives….  continue reading HERE 

Thank you very much. Good day everybody. I would also like to start by sending my thoughts to those affected by Saturday’s attack in London Bridge. Australians form an important and vibrant part of the fabric of life in London and we are reminded of that in good times and bad. And our hearts go out to the victims, their friends and families.


It is just over 100 days to the beginning of the next Invictus Games in Toronto. I am delighted to be here with you and your families as you prepare for the final team trials and a chance to represent Australia again. I am also glad that I have this opportunity to explain to the people of Australia why the Invictus Games are so important to me, and why I think it will be important for all of them too.


In February 2008, I was forced to leave Afghanistan. I had been serving as an army officer in the British army until my presence on the front line leaked out into the press. I could no longer stay with my soldiers as it would have put them at greater risk. It was a decision over which I had no control but the guilt at having to leave my guys behind was hard to swallow, as anyone who has served would understand.


It was that flight home from Afghanistan that put me on the path to the games. While we waited to board, a coffin of a young Danish soldier was put on the plane, and three soldiers in induced comas, all three wrapped in plastic, some with missing limbs and tubes coming out everywhere. The sacrifices we ask our men and women to make came home so powerfully to me in those moments. Four years later, after another tour in Afghanistan, I began to look for ways in which to support the veterans who returned with injuries who in previous years simply would have been unsurvivable. When I visited the Warrior Games in Colorado, I knew what to do. Sport would make the difference and help them fix their lives and reconnect with those around them. The spectacle of sport combined with recovery against the odds would inspire everyone who saw it.


I left Colorado with a determination to take it to an international audience so more people could see what I saw. Lives were changed in front of my eyes, amazing men and women proving the impossible is possible. That is exactly what we did when we held the first Invictus Games in 2014. We put on a show that attracted an audience of tens of thousands in the stands and many millions on television. Last year, we achieved it again in the US, providing an even bigger platform for these inspiring men and women to tell their stories to the world. And in September, we will do it again in Toronto, with more competitors, more sports and more spectators than ever before.


When I say ‘we’, I mean all of us. I was lucky to have spent time with several units in the Australian Defence Force when I was here in 2015. I am also lucky enough to call a number of diggers my mates. Having walked to the South Pole, sweated while on exercise on Kangaroo Flats outside Darwin and joined them for the centenary commemorations at Gallipoli. I understand what makes them tick. With my association with the ADF, I have an appreciation of what it means to be a digger and the admiration people have for you, not just here but across the world.


We are here today because in 500 days the Invictus Games will be held in one of the most sport-mad countries, and iconic cities, in the world. As founding patron of the Invictus Games Foundation I am so pleased that Australia and New South Wales will be taking on the Invictus Games baton from Canada and Toronto. Sport has an unparalleled ability to bring people together. For those recovering from injury, it has the ability to refocus the mind, to bring a sense of purpose and boost self-confidence. The benefits which come from sport goes beyond the individual, it positively impacts their family too. I know all of you here today would agree that sport can change, and in some cases, save lives.


Invictus reminds us of the amazing contribution that servicemen and women and veterans make. You need look no further than the remarkable sportsmanship showed by Mark Urquhart last year. He sacrificed his gold won on the track to push his competitor from the US into first place, simply because he felt Stephen deserved it more.


Sydney will soon be the custodian of the Invictus spirit and the focus for hundreds of men and women using the Invictus Games to motivate their recovery from physical and mental injuries. I know people from across the country, from Perth to Sydney, from Darwin to Adelaide, will embrace the Invictus Games and show support for the competitors from towns right across the country. I know they will make the games their own and when they do, they will witness the best of human spirit, courage, inspiration and defiance on the track, on the court and in the pool. Competitors who give their all to cross the line first, but will then use what breath they have to encourage others to achieve their own goals.


In these challenging times we can all benefit from positive and inspiring stories from which to draw strength. The Invictus Games show us it is possible to overcome adversity and that the impossible is possible if you have the will. This spirit championed by the games extends far beyond the competition. When a bomb left a number of people with life-changing injuries in Manchester last month, wounded veterans, including Invictus team members, immediately offered themselves to offered advice and support to the victims through the recovery process. The commitment to serve is ingrained in every member of the armed forces and is the embodiment of the Invictus spirit.


I know you all agree with me that the men and women of the armed forces and veteran community do not need our sympathy. In fact, that is the last thing they want. But they do deserve the utmost respect and an opportunity to play a valued role in our communities. Duty and service is in their blood. The Invictus Games provides the launch pad from which they can fulfil these aspirations. I know those of you here today and many people who see the coverage of this launch will join me in creating a life-changing atmosphere for these competitors, family members and spectators alike.


The Invictus Games are coming to Australia. Game on, Down Under.

—  Prince Harry Launches Sydney Invictus Games With Truly Inspiring Speech | June 7, 2017

This memorial day weekend lets remember what Memorial day is a about, it’s more then just a three day weekend, and the kick off to summer, to me Memorial day   Rememering our brave servicemen and women and our veterans who fearlessly
gave their blood and their lives for our country’s freedom.
A time of reflection and to give our utmost reverence and honor to all those in our great military who helped make our country truly the land of the free and the home of the brave.

All gave some. Some gave all.
God bless our troops and God bless America.