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A Brown Girl Memorial Day Tribute

Monday, May 31, 2010
There are untold numbers of Brown Girls that fought and died for Americans and got no accolades. Below are merely a few.  Let's honor them today - on this Memorial Day - (and always) without forgetting all of the men and women in the United States military.

Cathay Williams was the only known female "buffalo soldier" or black soldier in the US military after the Civil War. She served in the Thirty-Eighth United States Infantry, Company A, as William Cathay, from November 1866 to October 1868.  [Source:]   Read: Cathy Williams: From Slave to Buffalo Soldier. 
Both Mexican Americans and Mexican nationals who grew up in the United States served in the military during World War II. Out of 16.2 million Americans in the armed services during World War II, between 250,000 and 750,000 were of Mexican ancestry. This is Josephine Ledesma teaching a soldier how to repair the of an airplane at Randolph Air Field, San Antonio, in January 1942.  [Source:]

In World War II, many Latinas contributed to military efforts by joining the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (later shortened to the Women’s Army Corps, WAC), an official organization of the army that filled non-combatant jobs. Carmen Contreras-Bozak, born in Cayey, Puerto Rico, was a member of the first WAC company to go... overseas. She earned the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two Battle Stars, the World War II Victory Medal, an American Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the WAC Service Medal.  [Source:]

Members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion take part in a parade ceremony in honor of Joan d'Arc at the marketplace where she was burned at the stake. May 27, 1945.  [Source:]

In the book Women In the Military, Revised Edition: An Unfinished Revolution, author Jeanne Holm has this to say about Loreta Velasques:  One of the most colorful and enterprising characters...was Loreta Velasques.  Beautiful, well educated and affluent, she had been born in Cuba, where her father was a diplomat.  When her husband, who was an army officer, left for the war, Loreta, over his objections, bought a Confederate uniform, glued on a moustache and chin beard, recruited a troop of soldiers, and set herself up as their commander under the name Lt. Harry T. Buford.  Before she was discovered, she had fought in a number of battles, including the First Battle of Bull Run, and had served a brief stint as a self-styled spy.


Talking with Tami on: May 31, 2010 at 11:00 AM said...

Wow what a pretty hero

Unknown on: June 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM said...

Thanks, Buffalo Soldier 9! Did you remember to put Cathay Williams in your story about the Buffalo Soldiers. I certainly hope so. ;-)


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