While women have always participated in wartime efforts, prior to the Korean War they were not allowed to serve as regular members of the armed forces — except for nurses — during peacetime. In 1948, however, President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, which allowed females to retain permanent military positions. Nowadays, women hold myriad ranks and roles in the U.S. military alongside their male counterparts. Each year, Santa Barbara’s Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation, which was founded in 2003, holds an event in celebration of our soldiers.
Produced by boardmember Marilyn Gilbert, this year’s theme is “Honoring Women in the Military” and will be a musical tribute featuring a full orchestra, the Santa Barbara Choral Society, and bagpipers. Gilbert is currently looking to have as many area female soldiers attend as possible. “My idea is to have a phalanx of women march up the center aisle of the First Presbyterian Church to kick off the concert this year,” she said. “It’s time to honor the ‘silent majority’ and thank them for their service to this country.”
The event takes place Sunday, November 9, 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 21 East Constance Avenue. If you are a veteran or currently in active duty or know a woman who is, pass this opportunity onto her. All veterans and current military personnel are invited to attend free of charge. For more information, contact Marilyn Gilbert at 969-7183 or firstname.lastname@example.org.