Women Who've Served Deserve a National Female Veterans Day

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My family has a long tradition of military service, including my father who served in the Marine Corps when I was young. Because of their example, I take great pride in our country and respect those who have served. Yet as a young woman, and Girl Scout, I find it disheartening that the contributions of our nation's two million female veterans are often overlooked.

When we think of military service and combat, we often only think of men as veterans. However, 300,000 women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq since the terror attacks of 9/11. More than 1,000 of these heroes were injured in combat. Many others live with the hidden wounds of their service.

When these women return home and seek the benefits they are due, their status as veterans is often questioned. This has led to higher suicide and unemployment rates compared to the men they have served alongside. Not only are we shortchanging these women, we are missing out on the opportunity to draw upon their leadership and example. As a nation, we can and must do better than this.

By creating a National Female Veterans Day, we can help promote greater dialogue and understanding of the role women have played in the defense of our nation. This petition does not suggest the creation of a new federal holiday, nor is meant to take away from Veterans Day. This separate day of recognition can serve as an educational opportunity for young Americans to learn and become inspired—and for our brave women veterans, a day to be proud of their sacrifice and commitment.