KILLEEN — The first even Women Veterans Day in Texas is coming up.
The Women's Army Corps Veterans Association in Killeen is just one of many organizations gearing up for the event in Central Texas.
Women veterans like President of the Association Adrienne Evans-Quickley testified before Texas Governor Greg Abbott and lobbied for the special day for about two years. Abbott signed the proclamation last June. The June 12 recognition honors the achievements of women veterans and remembers the women who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
"Texas has a varied history because the first female who integrated, this day is about celebration for 70 years' worth of integration into the regular forces, which is not what people realize. They think that this is new, that women have not served for that long a period of time," said Evans-Quickley.
Evans-Quickley said, even in 2018, there is a stigma the military is a man's job and they want to show women hold all types of positions in the military. Women Veterans Day in Texas coincides with the 70th Anniversary of President Harry Truman signing the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, which officially allowed women to join the military. He signed it in 1948.
The first woman to enlist joined the Navy. She was from Kerrville, Texas.
Evans-Quickley said Texas has the highest concentration of female veterans in the country. She said there are more than 180,000 women veterans in the state alone.
The day is also an educational tool.
"Even when we go to school for Americanism programs, when we partner without Korean War, our Vietnam veteran sisters and brothers, there is a misconception in the schools. They're like, 'you women really shoot guns?'. It's a shame that our young people don't realize this," Evans-Quickley said.
For more information about upcoming events around Texas for Women Veterans Day, click here.