Friday, June 12 is Louisiana Women Veterans Day, highlighting the achievements of women in the military and honoring those who have and are still serving. Currently women make up about 20 percent of the active duty force and there are over 3000 women Veterans in our community.
“If you were to add up the years of service of our members, it would probably equal thousands of years, and we are honored that the state of Louisiana has recognized June 12 as Louisiana Women Veterans Day,” said Sandy Franks, president and founder of the Women Veterans of the Ark-La-Tex.
“It honors not only us, but all Louisiana women who have served and are still serving. We appreciate the recognition. This is also an opportunity to educate the public that there are about 30,000 women Veterans in our state and about 3000 in our community and gives them the occasion to thank women Veterans for their service,”
The local community and Barksdale Air Force Base have always had a close relationship, and the community has consistently supported the base and the military personnel.
The Women Veterans of the Ark La Tex worked tirelessly to raise funds to erect a life-size bronze statue in Bossier City to honor women veterans. The statue is finished and is in Tupelo with the sculptor waiting for the base to be installed. Wet weather and quarantine has prevented the concrete base from being poured.
At this time a dedication ceremony for the statue has been postponed until November for Veterans Day.
The statue is of a woman service member in battle dress uniform, representing servicewomen from all five branches of the military. She will be displayed on a granite base along with the five bronze service seals and the inscription, “Dedicated in honor of those women who have, those who are and those who will serve our great nation.”
“Women have made significant contributions to our military and this monument, which is the first in the southern United States to honor women from all five military services, will serve as a lasting tribute to all women who have served. We are proud that we are the women who made this historical monument a reality,” said Franks.
“Some people may wonder why this most historical monument is being placed in Bossier City, Louisiana and not Washington D.C. and my answer is, ‘why not?’ A dedicated group of women Veterans had a vision and this monument is the culmination of that vision. They are part of history, not only because of their service, but because they were part of a collective effort to achieve a greater goal,” she added.
The mission of the Women Veterans of the Ark-La-Tex is to honor and assist women Veterans who have and continue to pave the way to freely serve our country.
“We would like to thank the Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker and his CAO, Pam Glorioso, for their support and encouragement. The community and other Veterans organizations have been so supportive and we could not have reached our goal without them. Our local media have printed and aired numerous stories about the monument to help us raise funds and tell the community about the project. Senator Barrow Peacock and Representative Dodi Horton authored a resolution which was read in the House and Senate to bring more attention to our group. We also want to thank the community for supporting our various fundraising efforts,” said Franks.
The Women Veterans of the Ark La Tex is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization which was incorporated in February 2017. Members pay no dues. All women veterans and all active duty, guard, and reserve women are invited to join.
For more information, visit womenveteransofthearklatex.org.