Misconceptions That Keeps Female Veterans From Getting Due Credit

They've been fighting alongside male counterparts for hundreds of years.

November 11, 2017 5:00 am
Portrait of a US military soldier in Army combat camouflage uniform. (Getty)
Portrait of a US military soldier in Army combat camouflage uniform. (Getty)

The purpose of Veterans Day is to acknowledge the bravery, dedication and sacrifice of those who serve in the United States military, but a recent Washington Post article notes that some pervasive myths about female veterans sometimes keep credit from getting to the women who make up about 9 percent of the total veteran population.

In raw numbers, that means that more than 2 million of the 21 million veteran population are women — and contrary to popular belief, they didn’t just begin serving in combat. While the Post acknowledges that provisions in official law prohibited female service members from combat roles until recently, there are accounts throughout history of women disguising themselves as men to fight alongside men, including in the Civil War.

Margaret Corbin reportedly took over her husband’s gun at the Battle of Fort Washington in 1776; following a disabling grapeshot wound that almost severed her arm, Corbin was put in the Continental Army’s Invalid Regiment at West Point. The Post reports that she drew a military pension and was reinterred in 1926 at West Point; she received full military honors.

Furthermore, although many people imagine homeless veterans as Vietnam-era white men with a long history of substance abuse and instability, the Post reports that women veterans, including those who have children, are actually the fastest-growing portion of homeless vets.

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