The Murray County Veterans Memorial Park now has a memorial to female veterans of the U.S. military thanks to the vision of one woman and the generosity of a retired male Army officer.
Linda Spivey, a member of the Murray County Veterans Memorial Committee that oversees the park, had the idea "Why can't the women have a monument here?" as committee members discussed how to improve the park.
It was a natural realization for Spivey, who served two years in the Women's Army Corps, commonly referred to as the WACs, before it was folded until the regular U.S. Army in the 1970s.
"It hit me," Spivey said of the idea.
And we are glad it did.
As the years move along and society continues to evolve, the importance of recognizing women and all that they do continues to be brought to the forefront. Women are holding elected office in greater numbers, and continuing to succeed in business. It is only natural and right that their contributions to our country receive the kind of spotlight that has traditionally been reserved for the achievements of men.
That retired Army officer, the benefactor of this project, agreed, and his company provided the money for the monument.
"I had the opportunity to spend some time giving back to something directly related to my hometown and women veterans," said Dwight Hunt, a Dalton native and the president and CEO of the B3 Group, an information technology company based in Herndon, Virginia. "This was a unique opportunity for B3 to donate to a monument created specifically for women veterans, something that had been missing in the park. Although women at that time may not have been directly involved in combat operations, they served important roles and deserve to be recognized for their contributions and service."
Hunt noted, "By 2030, women are projected to make up 15% of veterans in the U.S."
That is a significant number, and we are thankful for the efforts of Spivey and Hunt and others who made this project possible for reminding us of the dedication of the women who served so nobly in the past and of those women who are serving now and will do so in the future.
They are mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces, but also soldiers protecting America. We are blessed by their service.