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Minnesota National Guard
Women Veterans of Minnesota

Women have served in military conflicts since the American Revolution, but World War II was the first time that women served in the United States military in an official capacity

Recently, women from all over the northern Midwest gather together for an annual meeting of the Minnesota Women Veterans of Minnesota  The core of the organization is comprised mostly of World War II women veterans, but along with Vietnam women veterans, Desert Storm women veterans and a few others it made for a great afternoon for the ladies, speakers and other participants

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"I thought it was great that they were so interested in what we do," said Chief Warrant Officer Chara Klug, female aviator in the Minnesota Army National Guard and guest speaker at the event  "It was so fun to talk to them and hear their stories"

The lunch involved a history of women in the military and an overview of two current women veterans who have served overseas  The audience seemed to be very receptive to what the two current veterans had to share about their recent deployments

"This meant a lot for these women to see and know what they started on, on the ground level has been expanded on more than they ever dreamed," said Doug Bekke, Camp Ripley Minnesota Military Museum Curator  "In World War II, they had administrative jobs, supply and maintenance jobs and for the most part never went overseas  The types of jobs women can do today and possibilities they have is unparalleled"

"I am really proud that women have come this far," said one member of the Minnesota Leathernecks division of the Women Marines Association who was in attendance  "I think is really important that the women are recognized for the job that they do"

After the event was officially dismissed many of the women were able to reminisce about their time in service to others who were serving during the same conflict and compare service stories to those who served after them

"Receiving support is always nice, but is a little extra special when it is coming from a group like this," said Chief Warrant Officer Klug, a two-time veteran of Iraq and Bosnia   "I will definitely be more involved with organizations like this"

Staff Sgt Lynette Hoke
Minnesota Army National Guard Public Affairs
10 Oct 2009


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