Pink? Really?

As most of us might imagine, the overwhelming majority of of US veterans are male. It wasn’t until after the end of the draft that women entered not just the officers corps (nurses & admin) but the rank and file as well. It wasn’t that women didn’t serve, it was rather that their roles were much more limited and likely auxiliary rather than acknowledging that gender wasn’t relevant except as it played out in strength and ability. The WAC (Women’s Army Corp 1943-1978) was the repository of all Army Women except for those in the medical fields and I’m not sure about Chaplains or JAG (but I doubt that it came up often). It was still in existence when I joined the Reserves and I owe a lot to the advice of a crusty SFC WAC.

One of my early predecessor’s in the liaison position with the British Army Medical Corps was one of the first six women actually assigned to the US Army Medical Corps. It did create a fuss. Since this was all organized at the Army Surgeon General’s level, there was little the nay sayers could do.  It wasn’t like they were taking jobs away from men…. I don’t think placing physicians in the WAC would have been acceptable (to either the docs or that corps).

The integration of the nursing profession I found much more interesting in the UK. Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps came into being in 1881, confirmed by Royal Warrant in 1902 and wasn’t actually integrated into the British Army until after WWII. Go figure. Up until 1992, male nurses wer part of RAMC.

Why am I providing you all of this? Back to the beginning. Women in actual service (read eligible for VA services) were not all that common until after 1978. Under 40 years. Since most of those who served prior to our frolics and stupidities since 2001, few had service connected disabilities (we will not go into the politics of what was and wasn’t service connected). That means that there aren’t that many “older” women eligible for services. The vast majority of those potentially eligible are under 65, likely still employed. The VA delivers an excellent standard of care in my opinion but it can be slow and ungainly. A female patient on the ward is not common, as I mentioned a couple of days ago. I am sure that is going to change in the coming decade – meanwhile –

my name tag is pink…


I was sprung this afternoon and am now spending a quiet evening with Shana and her two boys (Ghost & Onyx)

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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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22 Responses to Pink? Really?

  1. Donna says:

    lol, It’s a girl

  2. Ann says:

    Glad you’re out of the hospital.

  3. Cheryl says:

    I’m glad you’re out of durance vile!

  4. Bruce says:

    THE Army was a little late. I served with female USAF officers in 1972.

    I think that females were moved to normal status from WAF in about 1967 although there may have been a technical office until 1976.

    Those who served in the womens’ auxiliary services were given full active credit in 1980

    • Holly says:

      actually, I joined the reserves in 1978. I was in-processed by a WAC NCO. I asked. She was our senior admin. Said that the hospital personnel had been transferred out out a while back but she wasn’t going to be losing her status as WAC util later in the year.

      No one in the AMEDD ever pays any attention to what happens in the other branches/corps.

      The question you have to ask yourself – were those USAF officers medical types of one kind or another

      • Bruce says:

        Almost all were medical Toward the end of 73 we began to see female aviation types who were taking basic accession physical before placement in flight training classes

        A colleague talked one out of being the first fighter pilot.

        • Holly Doyne says:

          which probably explains why all the important military gender discrimination suits came out of the AF (1972,75)

  5. Lynne says:

    Glad you’re out and home with Shana and company.
    Stay well.
    Sending love

  6. Marie says:

    So sorry to hear you are in hospital .

    Well you are in my prayers for a full recovery.
    God bless

  7. Brad says:

    Still blazing trails, I see.

  8. Beth says:

    Soooooooo glad to hear that you have sprung loose, and are back with your family. I must say, both your telling of history, and melding it with what is going on here and now is brilliant. Most important, I hope you are feeling better. I am sure there are multiple random socks floating around that laundry room that need your immediate organizational skills, not to mention the various skeins of yarn that are in need of some real attention.

    Stay the course. I am thinking of you.

  9. Vicki says:

    Prayers said daily for your speedy recovery. Girl you gotta get back to enjoying and writing your great travel blogs! Glad you are sprung from the hospital.

  10. Cheryl says:

    Hospitals are no place for the sick!

  11. Isobel says:

    Glad you’re out of the hospital.

  12. Bob says:

    The very best hospital procedure is ALWAYS being released (upright and breathing on one’s own) to family and friends. Hope and pray all goes well from now on. I’m told aging is mandatory but growing old is optional. Never give up or in!

  13. Julie & Art says:

    We wish you all the best and keep up the positive attitude. Stay strong.

  14. Stuart Moxley says:

    I will have to work on my photoshop skills. I wonder what that leather jacket and pants would look like in Hot Pink? lol

    • Holly Doyne says:

      I think I’ll stick with basic black. Or brown with skulls – that would work too!

  15. Carmen says:

    How are you? Where are you?

  16. Lorette says:

    I’m glad you’ve gotten out. Hospitals aren’t any fun when you’re the patient.

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