SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – How many of these women who formerly served in the Armed Forces do you recognize?
June 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, but it’s still a little surprising for some to comprehend that women, too, are veterans. Oftentimes, though, it makes sense when you recognize the former military service in a woman’s past and can recognize how military service made a significant contribution to her civilian career.
Take Bea Arthur, for example.
Bea Arthur wasn’t just a tough-as-nails cast-mate on The Golden Girls. She was once a U.S. Marine, where she was a typist, and drove trucks as she was becoming one of the first members of the Women’s Reserve.
Arthur enlisted in 1943, and a few of her appraisals called her “argumentative” and “over-aggressive.” But that’s an endearing quality for a military woman, right?
Jennifer Marshall from “Stranger Things” is a U.S. Navy veteran. Joining when she was only 17, the future actress operated forklifts, was a logistic specialist, and aircraft handler, and even worked for her ship’s Sexual Assault Victim Intervention program.
What female Food Network star is formerly Air Force? Sunny Anderson, host of “The Kitchen,” “Cooking for Real,” and “Home Made in America.” She was a radio broadcaster and journalist in both Seoul, South Korea, and San Antonio, Texas.
Robin Quivers, the co-host of the Howard Stern Show, was also a former Air Force. She was an officer after gaining her nursing degree from the University of Maryland.
Even Wonder Woman has served in the military—Gal Gadot served two years in the Israeli Defense Forces as a physical fitness specialist.
Remember Dr. Ruth, the sex therapist who gave it to you straight when you asked questions that should have made her uncomfortable? Turns out that Dr. Ruth was a trained sniper for Israel.
Her show makes a lot of sense now, doesn’t it—especially when you learn that she was a holocaust survivor, too.
Josephine Baker was a jazz singer, dancer, and actress. But she is not simply the first African American to integrate an American Concert Hall—she’s also the first female veteran to do so.
Baker was a French spy during WWII, where she received the Rosette de la Resistance and became a Chevalier in the Legion d’honneur.
The story of “the British are coming” is something Americans are told from childhood, but did you know that a 16-year-old girl rode twice as far to warn her father’s regiment of a British attack?
It happened in 1777 and even General George Washington thanked Sibyl Ludington for her incredible efforts.
Amelia Earhart was not a member of the military, but as one of the earliest women in aviation, her work was crucial to the advancement of women in the military. There are many streets named after her on military bases across the world. And there is no doubt that little girls have read books about Earhart and dreamt of joining the military because Amelia showed it was possible for women to fly.
(I was once one of those little girls.)