The American Legion Department of South Dakota is recognizing Women’s History Month by using its social media channels to honor female Legionnaires throughout the state “who have proudly worn the uniform of our country and continue that legacy of service in their communities today.”
Female Legionnaires are recognized on the Department of South Dakota’s Facebook and Instagram page with their name, American Legion post, branch of service, military job, favorite memory from the service, why they joined The American Legion, and positions held in the organization.
For example, on March 7, Post 207 member Wendy Wayman from Stratford, S.D., was honored.
Branch of service: U.S. Army (1984 to present)
Military job: Electronic Warfare Signals Intelligence Analyst/ Russian Linguist as enlisted and then Signals Intelligence Analytic Technician as a Warrant
Favorite memory from service: I think my favorite memory from my service has been, although it was a scary reality check, serving with both of my kids. I've been deployed to Iraq twice with our son and one of those was also with our daughter. Additionally, I've been deployed to Afghanistan with our daughter. During our 2009 deployment, I had the great luxury of spending a weekend with both of our kids following a promotion ceremony for our daughter. Our son and I surprised her on her FOB. After we promoted her, we all went back to Camp Victory to reenlist our son. I then had both kids for two days.
Life after the military: Still trying to figure that out ... one day.
Why you joined The American Legion: After Desert Storm, I wanted to be part of something that recognized our shared military heritage. Many, many years ago, I was honored to have been selected by the Auxiliary to serve as a Girls State representative from Aberdeen Central. I wanted to be able to give back as a Legion member for girls who needed to see the art of the possible.
Positions held in the Legion: Proud member
Paula Linke, a member of Post 29 in Woonsocket, S.D., is a U.S. Army veteran. She joined The American Legion because “My dad was a veteran and an active member of (The) American Legion for many years. I grew up watching and hearing about his involvement, with a great awareness of his pride for being able to serve his country. As a veteran, there was never a doubt that I would follow in his footsteps.”
Cynthia Douglas, a member of Post 22 in Rapid City, S.D., served in the U.S. Air Force from 1973-1993. A memory from her time in service is that “Women were still a separate auxiliary in 1973. Instead of the confidence course and weapons training, we had make-up classes during basic training, including a class on how to walk in pumps without marching. I was also one of the first to be married with children to be allowed to remain in the service. I joined early enough to be considered a Vietnam era vet and retired during Desert Storm/Desert Shield operations.”
Douglas joined The American Legion because she and her husband “felt that joining would help to give us a sense of community, besides doing something for America.”
Visit the American Legion Department of South Dakota's Facebook page at facebook.com/sdamericanlegion/ to read more profiles of female veterans honored.