Warren leads senators in effort to create stamps to honor women veterans

Abbie Bennett
November 05, 2019 - 9:00 am
Julia Brownley introduces legislation to create a Forever stamp honoring women veterans

Photos courtesy of U.S. Army and U.S. Navy

Senators lead by presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren have joined together in an effort to produce stamps honoring women veterans.

Warren, joined by fellow members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, introduced the companion to a House resolution urging the U.S. Postal Service to issue the stamp series for women veterans and also calling for the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend the series to the postmaster general. 

Women veterans are tough, smart and have made incredible sacrifices to protect our country,” Warren said in a statement ahead of the resolution's introduction. “I appreciate the opportunity ... to commemorate the hard work and dedication of some of the boldest, most courageous women veterans in our nation’s history.”

There are more than 2 million women veterans in the U.S. and women are the fastest-growing group in the military. However, they are also the fastest-growing group of homeless veterans, face much higher rates of harassment and military sexual trauma and struggle to receive earned benefits at a higher rate. 

"Women have played key roles in defending our country since the American Revolution," Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. said in a statement. "Their stories of commitment and sacrifice need to be honored, told and remembered. These ‘Forever’ stamps will honor our female veterans, including Spc. Lori Piestewa of Arizona, the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the Armed Forces.”

The resolution seeks to honor women veterans, including:

  • Hazel Lee, the first Asian American woman to become a military pilot;
  • 1st Lt.Ashley White and Capt. Jennifer Moreno, Cultural Support Team members who were killed in action;
  • Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent, the first woman to die in combat in Syria;
  • Spc. Lori Piestewa, a member of the Hopi Tribe and the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military;
  • Cathay Williams of Missouri, born into slavery, who enlisted in the Army disguised as a man and served in the American West;
  • Dr. Mary Edwards Walker of New York, who served as a surgeon in the Union during the Civil War and is the only woman awarded the Medal of Honor;
  • Col. Mary Louise Rasmuson of Alaska, who enlisted in the Army as a private during World War II and was appointed by two presidents as director of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) and successfully integrated black women into the WAC and other MOS, among other accomplishments; 
  • Deborah Sampson of Massachusetts, who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War, was wounded in battle and was the only woman to earn a military pension for her service in the Revolution. 

“Too many of the selfless and brave women who risked their lives serving in our military never received the recognition they deserve, and Congress should be doing more to honor these women,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said. 

“Too often in history, women in male-dominated roles get overshadowed, despite the important contributions that they’ve made in their field, not to mention the barriers that they broke,” Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., said. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution to recommend a stamp series be made to honor women veterans from the Revolutionary War to the present for their critical role in keeping our country safe, secure, and free.”

Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., introduced the original resolution in the House. Brownley chairs the House Women Veterans Task Force. 

The U.S. Postal Service holds a selection process for stamp subjects throughout the year and the public is encouraged to submit their ideas. As of January 2018, USPS announced that no living persons will be honored on a stamp and deceased individuals will be honored no earlier than three years after his or her death.

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Kaylah Jackson contributed to this report.

Reach Abbie Bennett: abbie@connectingvets.com or @AbbieRBennett.

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