When you think of World War II and the Korean War, women veterans typically don’t come to mind first. While they still weren’t allowed to be in combat roles at the time, their service to the United States was just as important.
Of the 66 veterans on Central Valley Honor Flight number 13, three of them were women who served in the Korean War: they are Nadine Goodenough, Peggy Walker and Dorothy Garrison.
Women have been able to serve in the military since 1917 during World War I. They haven’t been able to serve in the same capacity as men until much later.
For Goodenough, it’s always a special moment to be able to visit her war’s memorial. She decided to enlist in the Navy in 1951 because she was curious to see how military worked.
She said women in the military served a need for the country.
“They needed women and they realized women were just as talented as doing many things in the Navy as men were,” said Goodenough.
Walker was in the Marine Corps, mainly in administrative roles. She agrees with Goodenough, saying if women weren’t allowed to serve it would leave a big gap in the armed forces.
Garrison recalls her mother telling her the military doesn’t have women, but still having the desire to join the Air Force.
She’ll be the first to say there needs to be more women in the military. As she’s seen the military restrictions dissolve over the years, she foresees future honor flights with more women veterans on them.
“Maybe not in the immediate future, but pretty soon we’ll be seeing half and half,” Garrison said.
Today, more than 200,000 women serve in the U.S. armed forces.