Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0101
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Full Text of HR0101  100th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, According to the Women in Military Service for
3America Memorial, 2.5 million American women have served or are
4serving in the United States Armed Forces since the American
5Revolution; and
6    WHEREAS, According to the United States Department of
7Veterans Affairs, 55,000 women veterans reside in Illinois; and
8    WHEREAS, During the American Revolution, Margaret Corbin,
9dubbed "Captain Molly", became the first woman to receive a
10military pension; she was wounded during the defense of Ft.
11Washington when her husband, John Corbin, was killed and she
12assumed his cannon post; and
13    WHEREAS, During the Civil War, women served in many roles
14supporting military forces; they organized public relief and
15sanitary commissions that gathered and distributed supplies to
16the troops; nurses and matrons staffed government and
17regimental hospitals; women disguised themselves as male
18soldiers to fight on the front, and also served as laundresses,
19cooks, and spies; and
20    WHEREAS, During the Spanish-American War, over 1,500 women
21served as nurses with the Army in Hawaii, Cuba, the



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1Philippines, Puerto Rico, on the hospital ship USS Relief, and
2in stateside hospitals; and
3    WHEREAS, During World War I, 12,000 women served stateside,
4freeing men to fight in Europe; overseas, Army and Navy nurses,
5volunteers with the American Red Cross, the YMCA, the YWCA, the
6Salvation Army, and the American Women's Hospital Service all
7worked together caring for the "doughboys"; over 400 women died
8as a result of their service; and
9    WHEREAS, During World War II, approximately 40,000
10American military women served stateside and overseas; women
11served in the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and as members
12of the Women Airforce Service Pilots; women served in every
13theater of the war and in many non-traditional roles; 88 women
14military nurses were held prisoners of war and more than 460
15women lost their lives; and
16    WHEREAS, The Women's Armed Services Integration Act of
171958, signed by President Truman on June 12, 1948, granted
18women permanent status in the regular and reserve forces of the
19Army, Navy, Marines, and the newly created Air Force; and
20    WHEREAS, During the Korean War era, over 50,000 women again
21served both stateside and overseas; in Korea, Army nurses
22served in Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) and general



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1hospitals, while Air Force nurses supported air evacuation
2missions, and Navy nurses served on nearby hospital ships; and
3    WHEREAS, During the Vietnam War, 7,000 women served in
4Southeast Asia; the majority were nurses assigned to military
5hospitals, air evacuation, hospital ships, and field units,
6many of them were wounded; eight women who died are
7memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington,
8D.C.; and
9    WHEREAS, In 1970, the first woman was promoted to General
10after an amendment to the United States Code removed
11restrictions on the careers of female officers which had
12previously kept women from the general and flag ranks; and
13    WHEREAS, The Department of Defense Appropriation
14Authorization Act of 1976, signed by President Gerald Ford,
15established the admission of women into United States military
16academies; 119 women entered West Point, 81 entered the Naval
17Academy, and 157 enrolled at the Air Force Academy; women also
18enrolled in the Coast Guard Academy and the Merchant Marine
19Academy; and
20    WHEREAS, Approximately 410,000 American women deployed for
21Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, making it the single
22largest deployment of military women in U.S. military history;



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1women served in all areas of the operations, with the exception
2of direct combat; two women became prisoners of war, and five
3were killed in action; and
4    WHEREAS, Women have participated in U.S. military
5operations in Grenada, Panama, Honduras, Bosnia, Croatia,
6Somalia, Rwanda, and Haiti; laws banning women from flying in
7combat were repealed in 1991, and those banning women from duty
8on combat ships were revoked in 1993; and
9    WHEREAS, In March of 1996, Sergeant Heather Lynn Johnsen
10became the first woman to be awarded the Guard, Unknown Soldier
11Identification Badge, the second-least awarded badge in the
12Army; that same year, the first women were promoted to military
13three-star ranks when Navy Rear Admiral Patricia Tracey was
14promoted to Vice Admiral, and Marine Major General Carol Mutter
15was promoted to Lieutenant General; and
16    Whereas, Women serving in the military are deployed around
17the world and have supported major missions including Operation
18Able Sentry on the Serbian/Macedonia border, Operations Joint
19Endeavor and Decisive Edge, NATO missions in Bosnia, and
20Operations Southern Watch, Pacific Wave, and Provide Comfort,
21which supported the no-fly zone established against Iraq and
22offered humanitarian relief to Kurdish evacuees; and



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1    WHEREAS, In 1998, for the first time, a woman fighter pilot
2delivered a payload of missiles and laser-guided bombs in
3combat; a year later, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eileen
4Collins became the first woman to command the space shuttle;
5also in 1999, Navy Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields became the first
6woman and first African American to command the National
7Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps. (NOAA); in 2000,
8the Coast Guard promoted its first women to flag officer ranks;
9in 2000, Navy Lieutenant Commander Darlene Iskra became the
10first woman to command a Navy warship at sea; and
11    WHEREAS, Women were among the first troops deployed in
12response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; when
13Operation Enduring Freedom was launched a month later, women
14were again among the first deployed; on March 23, 2003, Army
15PFC Lori Piestewa became the first servicewoman to be killed in
16Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first Native American
17servicewoman ever to die in battle; PFC Piestewa, PFC Jessica
18Lynch, and SPC Shoshana Johnson became prisoners of war during
19the early days of the operation; by the end of 2004, 19
20servicewomen had been killed in Iraq as a result of hostile
21action since the beginning of the war; and
22    WHEREAS, In 2005, Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester of the Kentucky
23Air National Guard, became the first woman to be awarded the
24Silver Star for combat action; she is one of 13 women to ever



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1be awarded the Silver Star and the only woman to receive the
2award for combat action; the other 12 were nurses awarded for
3valor in World War I and World War II; and
4    WHEREAS, Today, an estimated 344,500 women serve in the
5U.S. Armed Forces on active duty, in the National Guard and
6Reserves, at every enlisted rank, and within the officer corps;
7therefore, be it
10declare November 9, 2017 as "Illinois Women Veterans Day" to
11commemorate the sacrifices endured and the valor displayed by
12American Women veterans; and be it further
13    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
14presented to the Director of the Illinois Department of
15Veterans' Affairs, Erica Jeffries.