One year ago today, Governor Greg Abbot signed a proclamation designating June 12 as Texas Women Veterans Day.

In observance, Ussery Roan Texas State Veterans Home hosted a special luncheon in which the service and achievements of women veterans were highlighted.

“We wanted to do something for the country and a lot of the jobs were something we couldn’t do, so we went and joined the Air Force,” said Jean Hoopes, a WWII Airman. “…I did and I never regretted it. It’s been a wonderful experience that I had and will always remember.”

Like many women in the military, Hoopes had something driving her.

“The reason why I went in the service is because I had a twin brother and he was in,” Hoopes said, “so I wasn’t gonna let him gonna ahead of me, so I enlisted.” 

We spoke with Audrey Ryder, a Korean War Veteran who shared her reflections on U.S.-Korea relations since her days in the service.

“When I went in the service in ’51, I never realized that it would last this long,” Ryder said, “but I am very happy that we are coming to a place in time where we may be able to understand each other and maybe have a little more freedom with everyone.”

The luncheon also served as a time to remember women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

Today also coincides with the 70th anniversary of President Harry Truman signing the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948, which established a permanent presence of women in the military.  

The Texas Veterans Commission said the women veteran’s legacy can be traced back through the centuries, even to the Revolutionary War.

According to the Department of Defense, about one-sixth of all U.S. service members are female.