Gala held to celebrate active military, veterans

Special tribute to women in the military

Published On: Sep 13 2013 12:00:00 AM EDT   Updated On: Sep 13 2013 12:21:45 AM EDT

The Fourth Annual Veterans Gala will happen at the Ile Municipal Airports NASGI Hangar Friday, and will be hosted by the VFW Post 7310 and NASGI Veterans organization.

The event, which is held every year, is a salute to all current military and veterans, but this year the special tribute will focus on "Women in the Military."

Women were allowed to join the regular army after the Women's Armed Forces Integration Act was signed into law by President Truman in June of 1948. This came after General Eisenhower asked Congress to make the Women's Army Corps (WAC) a part of regular army after strength had diminished from a wartime high of 99,000 to 6,5000. The WAC grew from 12,000 to 52,000 in 1973 after the draft was eliminated. A few years later in 1978, to eliminate any feelings of separateness, the Women's Army Corps was discontinued as a separate Corps.

Women today make up 15 percent of all active duty forces. Many women face as much danger as their male counterpart, even though they're not permitted to serve in ground combat units.

To date, 220,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.