Women Warriors: A Veteran's Day Salute

Dr. Mary E. Walker, 1832-1919-
Dr. Walker was the first female U.S. Army surgeon. She volunteered for the Union Army during the Civil War and served without pay for many years. Eventually, she was ... more 
Dr. Mary E. Walker, 1832-1919-
Dr. Walker was the first female U.S. Army surgeon. She volunteered for the Union Army during the Civil War and served without pay for many years. Eventually, she was given a commission. On April 10, 1864 she was captured by Confederate troops and arrested as a spy but she was released at the end of that summer in exchange for another prisoner. She became the only woman who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for her distinguished medical service on the battlefield. At the turn of the 20th century when she became involved in the women's suffrage moment, she was stripped of the honor but she refused to give up her medal and wore it constantly. Then in 1977, 58 years after her death, President Carter reinstated the validity of the medal. less 
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Tue, Nov 8, 2011 4:40 PM EST
Women have served with valor and honor in all of America's wars even though they were not under formal military command until the beginning of the 20th century. Wives, mothers, and daughters followed their men into battle. Eventually women were accepted into the ranks of the armed forces. According to the Department of Defense, by 2005 the number of females on active duty reached nearly 14 percent of the total.



Today there are nearly two million female veterans in the United States, many of whom flew combat aircraft, served on ships, and drove convoys. Here at ThirdAge, we salute all of them as the heroes that they are.



In their honor for Veteran's Day 2011, we pay tribute to 7 of the most notable servicewomen in U.S. history.



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