SAINT PAUL – State Senator Alice Johnson’s (DFL-Spring Lake Park) legislation to recognize the more than 29,000 woman veterans in Minnesota with specialty license plates–for vehicles and motorcycles–passed out of the State Department and Veterans Committee on March 25. The bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee.
Throughout history, women have proudly served their country. In 1948, women were granted permanent status in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and the newly created Air Force. Today, women serve in the US military in unprecedented numbers – 12 percent of those who have served since September 11 are women.
In fact, women are the fastest growing population within the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. They serve in security patrols in war zones, even though the ban women in combat has not officially been lifted; they fly jets, serve aboard ships, gather intelligence, provide security, patrol dangerous environments and execute their military duties flawlessly.
“Historically, women veterans have not been recognized yet they have served in every conflict our country has been engaged in,” Johnson said. “These women earned this recognition. Women serve in vitally important roles, and this is one way to recognize and thank Minnesota woman veterans’ and their families for their service to our nation.”
Joining Sen. Johnson were former veterans including four female Colonels, one Captain, one First Lieutenant, one Staff Sergeant, and two Sergeants.
Sen. Alice Johnson
DFL-Spring Lake Park
“There are many women veterans here in Minnesota serving us, and our country and they want and would like to have a license plate that would identify themselves as women veterans. One veteran told me that she already has veteran plates but everyone assumes it’s her husband. This issue is important for veteran women.”
Chair-Women’s Veterans Initiative
It’s really about changing cultures and by recognizing women in service and the contributions that we give really tells women veterans and women all over that we’re valued and our contribution is valued and it’s being recognized at all levels of service.