‘People Constantly Mistake My Mother for a Spouse, Not a Veteran’
The New York Times
By Lauren Katzenberg
March 8, 2019
These servicewomen are leaders, pioneers, change-makers and survivors. Here’s what their family members have to say about them.
The Times recently asked servicewomen and veterans to share stories about their military service for a project planned for today, International Women’s Day. I wasn’t surprised that we received more than 650 submissions to our reader call-out. But reading the dozens of accounts that poured in each day filled me with a renewed sense of appreciation and frustration for these women’s service. Too many had to force their way into an institution that has been designed for and upheld by men for generations. Too many were told they didn’t belong. And too many felt the physical and mental consequences of disrupting and threatening the male-dominated status quo in ways that should have been punishable — and yet were repeatedly ignored by senior military leaders.
This collection of stories is both a celebration of women’s military service and a reckoning of what they’ve endured. It’s also a recognition that the military still has a long way to go before we see any real resemblance of gender equality. As Capt. Ja’Mia Rowland wrote: “I have become accustomed to being the only person in the room who looks like me.” You can read her story and 39 others here.
The Times also asked readers with a woman in their family who serves or served to tell us about that person. Here is a selection of those responses.
People Constantly Mistake My Mother for a Spouse, Not a Veteran
Randi Mahoney, New Boston, Mich.
My mother, Amy Hodge, was attached to the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum in New York, during which time she deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia. She told me that while there she pulled over 300 dead bodies out of a river that were contaminating the local drinking water; she was involved in firefights; she held a friend while he died. The biggest challenge I’ve seen my mom face is the lack of recognition that she even served. When she walks into any veteran event or local post, she is instantly written off as a wife, and her stories and experiences are ignored, even though nine times out of 10 she is the most badass person in the room.
read more stories like that here