I just finished watching an episode of NCIS: LA about a man who was under investigation for “espionage”. He was accessing classified documents and in the end, we found out that what he was really doing was making a tribute to all the brave men & women who died in service to their country in Secret Operations. A tribute to those who gave their lives for me and you!
This brought up memories of another story I know. A true story about an Air Force woman during the Korean War. She was a very good friend of mine for the first 10 years after I left the USMC. Together, we stormed the VA for better treatment, respect for women and better services for all.
JP enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War. She worked in communication and was on the line each day reading all the communication messages that came in listing those who were wounded, missing or killed. JP, being the sensitive and caring person she is, cried for each and every man and woman listed. She later was diagnosed with an ulcer over her worry and strife.
She later married her USAF sweetheart, had three children and became a crusader for veterans with the American Legion. What an honor and privilege to have known her. I carry her in my heart, like the other women veteran’s I have known and love. She’s a wonderful, wonderful person.
Together, we were lucky enough to have gone to the dedication of the Women In Military Service for America (WIMSA) in Washington, D.C. in 2007. We put together a charter bus with 3 buses to go of Women Vets and their loved ones. What a beautiful adventure that was.
JP & I traveled the state of NY, meeting other Women Vets and championing our cause. Twenty plus years ago, Women did not have the kind of care necessary within the system. I remember my first time at the VAMC where the doctor, after spending more than 5 hours to see him, decided that my pain was secondary to my mental health. My pain was (on a scale of 1 – 10) at a 20 and I was on verge of vomiting, when he decided I was depressed and needed to see a shrink. It was a hard start for me. I went to their mental facility only to be given a “pat down” by two male guards and put into a state of distress. To say the VA was women friendly was a joke. I did later report the incident to the head of the hospital; but the lasting effects were hard on me.
Anyway, we had a number of women who met together and made plans, implemented changes and helped to make the VA more women friendly than it ever was. At the time I entered, you couldn’t get much in the way of women’s services. Mammograms, Paps, etc. were not the standard. Oh and we also made sure that men and women were given gowns to wear during exams, which at our hospital was unheard of. Anyway, I am grateful to my dear friend, who has a heart of gold and a beauty that is rare. Still great love for her and her family. ❤