Okaloosa Names June 12th Women Veterans Day

Christopher Saul

Christopher Saul

Mid Bay News

USO: More than 300,000 women have served in US Armed Forces

Okaloosa County will have a special day set aside – Sunday, June 12th, 2022 for Women Veterans. 

The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution that encourages residents to honor women veterans in our area. 

It shouldn’t be too hard to find a woman veteran in our area: Okaloosa County has 6,527 female veterans – 4% of Florida’s total woman veteran population.

A total of 1.5 million veterans live in Florida. About 162,000 of those veterans are women. 

“Woman Veterans Day in Florida is an opportunity for the citizens of Okaloosa County, the State of Florida and Americans to recognize the caliber of character and courage of all women who have served, and continue to answer, the call to serve in defense of the freedoms and values our nation holds dear,” the resolution said. 

The resolution was brought in front of the Okaloosa County Commission by Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel.

Statue of Margaret Corbin
Margaret Corbin, immortalized in bronze, is one of the eight women honored at the Okaloosa Women Veterans Monument on Okaloosa Island. Corbin helped American Rebels during the Battle of Fort Washington. After her husbands death during the battle - she took to loading the cannon to fire on British soldiers. Corbin was eventually wounded in the battle and was the first woman to receive a military pension from the US government.

Women Honored in Women Veterans Memorial Walk

There are eight women honored in the Women Veterans Memorial on Okaloosa Island. 

They are

  • Margaret Corbin | Army – Revolutionary War
  • Cathay Williams | Army – Civil War
  • Lenah Higbee | Navy – World War I
  • Jacqueline Cochran | Air Force – World War II
  • Jonita Ruth Bonham-Bovée | Air Force – Korea
  • Sharon Lane – US Army Nurse Corps Reserve – Vietnam
  • Leigh Ann Hester |Army National Guard – Persian Gulf War
  • Naseema | Air Force – Afghanistan

Interestingly, the only woman to ever receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, is not among the individuals immortalized in bronze on the sands of Okaloosa Island. The eight women who were chosen were selected by a committee made up of female military veterans and other locals to Okaloosa County. 

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