More than 1,000 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) served during World War II, flying more than 60 million miles in every type of military aircraft. (US Air Force)Associated Press | |McLEAN, Va. -- The ashes of World War II veteran Elaine Harmon are sitting in a closet in her daughter's home, where they will remain until they can go to what her family says is her rightful resting place: Arlington National Cemetery.
Monday, January 4, 2016
From: Martha McSally
Subject: RE: Women WWII Pilots Denied Final Rest at Arlington National Cemetery
Date: January 4, 2016 at 6:15:02 PM MST
I will be on Greta Van Susteren tomorrow night talking about this. I am drafting legislation now to introduce to fix this. Total bs.
Harmon piloted aircraft in World War II under a special program, Women Airforce Service Pilots, that flew noncombat missions to free up male pilots for combat. Granted veteran status in 1977, the WASPs have been eligible to have their ashes placed at Arlington with military honors since 2002.But earlier this year, then-Secretary of the Army John McHugh reversed course and ruled WASPs ineligible.
After Harmon died in April at age 95, her daughter, Terry Harmon, 69, of Silver Spring, Maryland, was dismayed to learn that the Army had moved to exclude WASPs. She said her mother had helped lead the effort to gain recognition for WASPs.
"These women have been fighting this battle, off and on, for over 50 years now," she said.
Harmon's family and others are working to overturn McHugh's directive. A petition on change.org has received more than 4,000 signatures. Harmon also hopes Congress will ask incoming Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning about the issue at his upcoming confirmation hearing.
Posted by Barbara at 9:34 PM
Labels: AZ Rep Martha McSally on this: Women WWII Pilots Denied Final Rest at Arlington National Cemetery