Sunday, July 7, 2013

Women in Service

Did you know that 15% of those serving in the US Army are women?  And that many of the Quilts of Valor that we make are awarded to women that have been touched by war?
Find out more about the QOVs awarded to these women at:
Let me introduce you to one of those women – a woman who has worked virtually her entire adult life towards integrating women into the military.  She is Evelyn “Pat” Foote, US Army  Brigadier General, Retired.

Yes, you read that right – Brigadier General !!  There had never been a woman to reach the rank of general when Foote first served in Vietnam in 1967/8 and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a law that made it theoretically possible.

Foote was born in 1930, during an era when girls were automatically funneled into Home Economics classes and discouraged (and often prevented from) taking math and science classes.  But Foote was rebellious and ended up with a BA from Wake Forest in NC, an ES degree from Shippensburg State in PA and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Wake Forest.

Foote’s US Army career spanned 1959-1989.  When she first served in Vietnam in 1967, she was shocked to discover that women serving there had received no special training for the location and were not armed.  Since that time, she has worked tirelessly fighting to have women properly equipped and trained.

Subsequently, Foote became the first woman to command a brigade in Europe.  She was awarded the rank of general in 1986.  And, she has received the Distinguished Service Medal, a Legion of Merit and a Bronze Star.

Was that career enough for Foote?  Not nearly enough, she now serves on the Advisory Council of the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation.  She continues to champion for women’s advancement in the armed forces and transforming all workplaces for women to those where they can find diversity, equity and work-life balance.

The US Army has since had 55 women generals.  Learn more about Pat Foote and her accomplishments, plus other groundbreaking women’s stories, at this PBS site:

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