TRENTON – Today, Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed Senate Joint Resolution No. 114 into law, designating June 12th of each year as “Women Veterans Appreciation Day” in New Jersey. This legislation will honor New Jersey women veterans for their great sacrifices to protect our country. In addition to signing the legislation, Acting Governor Oliver presented Prudential with the “We Value Our Veterans” Community Award for its efforts in supporting veterans. At the federal level, Senator Cory Booker and Representative Mikie Sherrill showed their support for this initiative by introducing a bipartisan resolution designating June 12th as Women Veterans Appreciation Day nationally.
“New Jersey is lucky to be home to many women who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “These women have proudly served our nation, and now their extraordinary dedication to our state and country will be commemorated each year.”
“Women have continually protected our rights and liberties throughout the history of the United States,” said Acting Governor Oliver. “We are thrilled to acknowledge the increasing number of women serving in our military, and proud to show our appreciation for the state’s upstanding women veterans.”
“We’re very honored to receive this recognition, and we hope that this day of appreciation for women veterans draws much-needed attention to their unique needs,” said Charles Lowrey, Chairman and CEO of Prudential.
Prudential hosted the event to mark the signing of the resolution at its newest building in Newark, Prudential Tower.
“Our Veterans Initiatives team is heavily involved in advocacy, including the development of solutions to address the unemployment of both veterans and military spouses. We recognize and honor their service for our country and we value their skills in the workforce. And today, Prudential is especially proud to focus on the contributions and sacrifices of women in the military as we recognize the first Women Veterans Appreciation Day,” Lowrey continued.
“From serving as combat helicopter pilots in Afghanistan to disguising themselves as male soldiers during the American Revolution and the Civil War, women have served our country with valor and honor since our nation’s inception,” Senator Booker said. “Marking June 12 every year as Women Veterans Appreciation Day is a fitting recognition for their selfless sacrifice. To the nearly two million women currently serving in our Armed Forces today and to the many that came before them – thank you for your dutiful service and commitment to this country’s freedom.”
“Too often, female veterans do not seek care at the VA or even identify themselves as veterans. New Jersey is leading the way to make sure servicewomen are not only recognized for their contributions to the armed forces, but that their voices are heard,” said Representative Mikie Sherrill, Vice Chair of the Congressional Servicewomen and Women Veterans Caucus. “I applaud all the veterans, stakeholders, and officials who came together to mark June 12th as Women Veterans Appreciation Day in New Jersey. Senator Booker and I are proud to champion this effort at the federal level.”
"Too often women who have served in our military are ignored or forgotten,” said New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton. “We assume it’s their husbands or sons who served, who moved to the sound of gunfire, who tended the injured, who piloted the planes or helicopters, who delivered the ordnance, who strung the commo lines, who saw comrades killed and themselves suffered the wounds of war. As a proud Army veteran, I have long been in awe of the women who served before me, who served with me, who served after me. Thank you to Governor Murphy and the New Jersey legislature for acknowledging our most forgotten soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines."
"While all veterans are unique and treasured for their service, women have a special place in our military,” said Adjutant General Jemal Beale. “They are the only members of our society that has not been drafted; hence, they willingly volunteered to serve our nation. We thank our women veterans for their service."
"Women's contributions in the military have drastically expanded with each passing decade,” said Deputy Adjutant General Dr. Lisa Hou, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. "Women were initially limited to serving as nurses or clerks. Now, women are seen in every military occupational specialty and continue to achieve milestones in positions that were once thought attainable only by men. It is my hope that this designated day will shine the light on women's achievements in the military and bring further awareness of women veterans."
Primary sponsors of the bill include Senators Kristin Corrado and Linda Greenstein, and Assemblymembers Cleopatra Tucker, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and Wayne DeAngelo.
“Throughout American history, women in the military have always played an invaluable role in the fight to protect the freedoms we hold dear, and yet, all too often, our servicewomen do not get the recognition they deserve,” said Senator Kristin Corrado. “Designating June 12 as ‘Women Veterans Appreciation Day’ is a fitting way to honor the millions of women veterans who have sacrificed so much to serve our country with valor.”
“Designating June 12th as Women Veterans Appreciation Day is a tribute to the achievements of the women who have served our country,” said Senator Linda Greenstein. “Highlighting these women will inspire and educate us all on the countless sacrifices and immeasurable heroism of women in defense of our freedom.”
“Women have a significant presence in the United States military in New Jersey, throughout the country and around the globe,” said Assemblymembers Cleopatra Tucker, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and Wayne DeAngelo. “Undoubtedly, women have helped our nation’s military earn and maintain its stellar reputation domestically and abroad. Designating June 12 annually as “Women Veterans Appreciation Day” in New Jersey to honor women on active duty in the armed forces and to highlight the state’s appreciation for women veterans is a fitting way to recognize their work, sacrifices and commitment.”
“I am so honored and privileged to be part of the grassroots movement lead by Catholic Charities and the NJ SOS Veterans Stakeholders that saw the need for a Women Veterans Stakeholder Group,” said Lucy Del Gaudio, US Army Veteran and Veteran Advocate. “Women Veterans Appreciation Day gives us the opportunity to create a day where we can have a voice for issues that we as women veterans face that are uniquely different to those of our brothers in arms. We can recognize the fight, strength, resilience but more so, the diversity and inclusiveness women have brought and continue to bring to the military.”