Women’s History Month

The theme for this year’s National Women’s History Month is “Our History is Our Strength.” The Department of Veterans Affairs has expanded that message to specifically honor women in the military and their service to our country with these words: “Duty. Honor. Pride.”

Women’s History Month was declared a national observance by Congress in 1987 to raise educational awareness of the achievements and contributions women have made throughout American history.

In a March 7 press release, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Erick K. Shinseki said, “Duty. Honor. Pride. These words reflect the spirit of generations of American women who have sought to defend the rights and freedom of others.”

The history of women in the armed forces began more than 220 years ago with women who served during the American Revolution and continues through the present day.

Women make up 14 percent of active-duty military and 18 percent of the National Guard and Reserves. There are more than 1.8 million women veterans today. They make up 8 percent of all veterans and their numbers are expected to grow to 10 percent by 2020.

During Women’s History Month, please remember and honor all the women who have served courageously, selflessly and with dedication in times of conflict and in times of peace.

To all women who have served in the military and those still serving, please record your service — share your story on our National Women in Military Service for America Memorial at womensmemorial.org.

In addition, family members of women who have served, and have passed away, can also record their history of military service on the Women’s Memorial.

Maine Women Veterans and those actively serving can also join my online Facebook group called Maine Women Veterans, simply by searching for this group and sending a request to join.

Women Veterans' Luncheon

The Bath American Legion Post 21 Legionnaires, Auxiliary, Sons of American Legion and American Legion Riders will host a free luncheon Saturday, April 14, at the Legion Hall, 200 Congress St., Bath.

The event will start at 9:30 a.m. with morning refreshments and free pampering from local businesses that have donated their time to provide manicures, haircuts/stylings, Reiki and mini-massages. Lunch will be served at noon followed by guest speakers.

Please RSVP by April 11 by calling Kitty Doyle at 837-8722. You do not have to be a Legion member to attend this event.

Free breakfast on Vietnam Veterans Day

Last year, Vietnam Veterans finally received the national recognition they deserve. March 29 is now recognized as National Vietnam Veterans Day. Over 9 million Americans served in Vietnam.

The Travis Mills Foundation invites all Vietnam veterans to a free breakfast on March 29 at 0800 at the Waterville Elks Lodge 905 at 76 Industrial St., Waterville. For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/travis-mills-foundation-vietnam-veterans-day-breakfast-tickets-43447428428.

If you have a Vietnam veteran in your life, please invite them to join Travis Mills on the 29th and he asks that you please give them his gratitude for their service and sacrifice to our nation.

Joy Asuncion is an Honor Flight Maine board member, a Maine Troop Greeter and Maine State Ambassador for the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. She can be reached at joyasuncion@roadrunner.com or 930-5640.