Sunday, March 12, 2017

WWII Veteran Hoped Things Would Be Different for Military Women Today

Marine scandal hits home for Ohio women veterans
The Columbus Dispatch
Rita Price
March 10, 2017
"You raised your head a little higher, you clicked your heels a little harder and you walked on," Gilliam told an audience at the Ohio History Center. "Today, I'm hoping, it is different."
At 94, World War II veteran Ruby Gilliam would like to be able to say she outlived the problem. But she knows that the fight against discrimination and harassment are far from over for America's military women.

"I used to think, 'Someday, this will change,''' Gilliam said. "There we were, serving our country. It was all very disturbing. It still is."

A panel of female veterans — some more than a half-century younger than Gilliam — joined her Friday to celebrate Women's History Month and to share their stories of struggle and accomplishment, of hope and honor.

Gilliam was a young widow who had lost her husband to the war when she shocked her family and joined the military herself. She still considers the moment she donned her WAVES uniform the proudest of her life, more so, she said to laughter, than giving birth.

That certainty made the slurs hurt and bewilder all the more. With few avenues for complaint, she and others tried to respond with determination.
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