Thursday, March 26, 2009

Military Women: Courageous and kind

Spc. Craig Morrison, 1st Cavalry Division receives his Shoulder
Sleeve Insignia for War-Time Service from Sgt. 1st Class
Zenalia Moses.(U.S. Army photo by Spc. L.B. Edgar)

Women have served in the United States Army since 1775. They nursed the ill and wounded, laundered and mended clothing, and cooked for the troops in camp on campaign; services that did not exist among the uniformed personnel within the Army until the Twentieth Century. Women are an invaluable and essential part of the Army. Currently, women serve in 91 percent of all Army occupations and make up about 14 percent of the active Army. Women continue to have a crucial role in the War on Terrorism and their sacrifices in this noble effort underscore their dedication and willingness to share great sacrifices. (Check the history out here. Many great articles!)

Then we come to today, and I find this:

Group Encourages Americans to Reach Out to Female Servicemembers

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2009 – During Women’s History Month, many Americans take time to salute the contributions of women. Manhattanville My Soldier, a New York-based troop-support group, is paying special attention this month to women serving in the U.S. armed forces.

“The military women I met while serving in Iraq were courageous and kind,” My Soldier co-founder Juan Salas, an active-duty Army sergeant and Manhattanville College student, said. “We are asking civilians to pay respect to these brave women during Women’s History Month.”

In observance of Women’s History Month, the group has created “My Soldier: Her Story,” a program that encourages Americans to honor deployed female servicemembers by sending letters and care packages in appreciation of their service. The new initiative aims to spotlight women serving in all branches of the military.

“Every March, we have more Girl Scout troops, Brownie troops and women’s organizations sign up with us to support female soldiers,” Michael Seminara, Manhattanville My Soldier operations director, said. “Most intend to only send one or two packages, but the soldiers are so thankful that the groups continue sending letters and packages until their soldier has returned home safely.”

My Soldier: Her Story is tailored to those groups or individuals who want to send support directly to women without an ongoing commitment.

Suggested support includes handwritten letters, thank you cards and children’s artwork. Participants also can send care packages with food, nail care products, magazines, shampoo, lotion, and combs and brushes.

Salas is asking everyone -- if not through the My Soldier: Her Story program -- to reach out to female servicemembers this month.

“Please, send a letter to let a woman soldier know that you are thinking of her or to thank her for all she is sacrificing to make the world a safer place,” Salas said.

Those interested in participating in “My Soldier: Her Story” program can contact Manhattanville My Soldier, located on the Manhattanville College campus, directly. Within a few days of registering, participants will receive the name and address of a platoon contact. The contact will distribute the letter or package to a female soldier in their unit. (here)

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