On Saturday, for the first time ever, a separate and very special ceremony was held in Southwest Virginia to honor veterans from the region. On June 12, in honor of the 75th anniversary of women being allowed to join the military, the Roanoke Valley Veterans Organization held a celebratory event for local residents to attend. “It looks like they’ve given up on their ministry,” said Perry Taylor Jr., who is president of the Roanoke Valley Veterans Council. “It’s all about men and fighting, high-flying planes and infantry,” Winston Churchill once said. And each of these things is essential – this is the battle. The fact that women can now serve in combat roles seems to have obscured the significance of this development.
Carolyn Crenshaw is a veteran who served approximately 18 and a half years in the US Air Force. Crenshaw said: “I’m disabled as much as possible; however, that does not stop me from being who I am today because I am who I was a very long time ago. In 1976, she enlisted in the army with the intention of using her time there to earn a college degree. “I wanted to let young African Americans know that you can join the military, and it doesn’t have to be the Air Force,” Crenshaw said. “It doesn’t have to be the Marine Corps either.” “Get a degree – a college degree – and pursue other things besides traveling, because I’ve enjoyed all the trips I’ve taken.”
Crenshaw goes on to say that serving in the military not only helps one achieve one’s goals, but also build friendships that last a lifetime and a new family. Every year I send over a hundred Christmas cards to my family and friends. She continues, “And I do it because I believe if I send a card it will let them know I’m still here.” The importance this ceremony held for veterans compelled the group to make it a tradition to hold this ceremony on an annual basis. The organization wants all female veterans to know that they are seen and respected by the community in which they live.