Friday, September 12, 2008

Call for the Cadet Nurse Corps to be recognized as Vets

From the National Organization of Women

Call For Them To Be Recognized With Official Veteran Status

The Cadet Nurses need our support to end their discriminatory treatment. Ask your Representative to support the United States Cadet Nurse Corps Equity (Act H.R. 3423), introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), to classify service in the Cadet Nurse Corps as active military service and recognize the members as veterans. These women are mostly in their 80s and 90s and have waited long enough; we need to help them achieve equal veteran status NOW!


Action Needed:

During and just after World War II, more than 100,000 women served in the United States Cadet Nurse Corps, yet their contributions remain virtually unknown. Other women who were in WWII military services, like the Women's Army Corps (WACs), the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), have rightfully been granted veteran status and benefits -- and remain legendary to this day. Because the Cadet Nurses were under the Public Health Service rather than a military command, and performed their duties in this country as well as abroad, their services during and shortly after the war have gone unrecognized. It's time to include and salute them as veterans.

In a show of support for the integral role that the women of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps played during World War II, Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) has introduced H.R. 3423, the United States Cadet Nurse Corps Equity Act, to classify service in the Cadet Nurse Corps as active military service and to recognize the members as veterans. The act requires the Secretary of Defense to issue an honorable discharge to each person whose service qualifies for one. This change in status would give Cadet Nurse Corps members access to services administered by both Federal and State Veterans' Affairs departments.

Over the past decade, numerous Cadet Nurse Corps Equity Acts have been introduced and sent to committees where they were left to languish. There has never been a hearing, no bill has ever reached the floor of the House for a vote and there is no Senate counterpart. Cadet Nurses and their families have waited too long, too quietly, and too patiently for Congress to do the right thing. 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the graduation of the last class of Cadet Nurses, and the small, hearty band of surviving nurses deserves our support!

TAKE ACTION NOW - ask your Representative to sponsor this bill!