By Marguerite Cleveland
In honor of Women’s History Month here are some Military Spouses worth remembering.
Martha Washington – We most often think of her as a First Lady but before that she was the quintessential Army Spouse holding down the fort while her husband was deployed. In addition to running Mount Vernon, the family estate she also visited George at Valley Forge and entertained the officers and their spouses.
Mary Ludwig Hays – You will know her as Molly Pitcher, the nickname given to her after her service at the Battle of Monmouth. Mary spent the day bringing water to the soldiers as well as providing water to cool the artillery pieces one of which her husband, William was manning. When he collapsed she assumed his position and continued firing the cannon at great danger to herself. At one point it is said a enemy cannon shot passed between her legs taking off a piece of her petticoat. After the war, the state of Pennsylvania awarded her with a pension for her service at Monmouth.
Julie Compton Moore – You may recognize her from the movie “We Were Soldiers” where she was played by Madeline Stowe. In one of the most poignant scenes in the movie, Moore intercepts the taxi driver who is delivering the notices of those who had died in a battle in Vietnam. There is more to her story though. She was so appalled by the heartless way that family members received notification of the death of their loved ones that she lobbied for change. As the results of her efforts, we now have a more compassionate system in place where a service member and a chaplain make the notification in person.
Tanya Biank – Tanya is the woman who put Army Wives on the map. Her book, “Under the Sabers”, became the inspiration for the television show, “Army Wives” on the Lifetime network and was one of their most popular shows. It aired from 2007 to 2013 and introduced America to the military spouse experience. Biank who is also an Army Spouse served as a consultant for the show.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg – According to the Blue Star Family website, before she was a Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg was an Army Spouse and followed her husband Martin to Fort Sill. The first time she argued a case before the Supreme Court in 1973 it was on behalf of a female service member to obtain spouse benefits for her husband. At that time, husbands of service members were not considered dependents and were not eligible for benefits.
A special shout out to Michelle Obama who deserves to be an honorary spouse do to her efforts for military families during her time as the First Lady.
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