Last week VA Butler Healthcare held a ceremony to honor WWII and Korean Era women Veterans in the Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) Program. Marine Corps Veteran Helen Erdos, Air Force Veteran Marianne Heasley and Army Veteran Marie Miller were presented with military medals they earned during their service, but never received.
“We wanted to honor a generation of women who served their country in a time of great need, but did not receive the recognition or benefits their male counterparts earned,” said William Kircher, Event Coordinator and ADHC Therapist. “One of the women was a living ‘Rosie the Riveter,’ in that she worked on and welded ships in the Pittsburgh region for the war effort, just as her famous counterparts did on the Eastern and Western Coast shipyards.”
The ceremony began with the pledge of allegiance and opening remarks from VA Butler’s Director John Gennaro and VA Butler’s Women Veteran Program Manager Brenda Sprouse. Retired Colonel Gary Kuhn then presented each woman with their medals, as well as a history booklet about their service. Following the ceremony, a reception with refreshments was planned for all Veterans, family members, and guests sponsored by American Legion Post 778.
“Even if the history books don’t always show it, women have been playing an essential role in the U.S. military for hundreds of years,” said Sprouse. “Women were and are an important part of our armed forces. It is an honor and privilege to serve them every day at VA Butler Healthcare.”
VA Butler provides comprehensive health care services specific to female Veterans’ needs including gynecology, mammography, bone density testing, and counseling. We also coordinate support services for female Veterans including medical services, mental health care, and sexual abuse counseling. For information, contact VA Butler’s Women Veterans Program Manager at 800-362-8262, ext. 2756.