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Women Veterans Of Korean War Honored

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Eleanor Porter of Springfield, Virginia, a former first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Markette Smith
Eleanor Porter of Springfield, Virginia, a former first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

The Department of Defense is honoring female veterans for their service in the Korean War during the 60th anniversary of what's commonly referred to as the "Forgotten War."

More than one million women have served in the U.S. military since World War II, but it was the Korean War that marked a turning point for women's advancement in the armed forces.

More than a third of the women who served in the Korean War were healthcare providers. Elle Porter of Springfield, Va. was one of them. That's where she met her husband of 58 years.

"He came back from Korea as a double amputee, and I was a physical therapist down at Fort Salmon, Texas," she says. "He was kind of a flirt, and we kind of hit it off, and before I got out of the service we were married."

She found love, and a purpose in life.

"We needed to feel useful, and that we could contribute something, and that's what it did for us."

Patricia Johnson of Sterling, Va. served as a navy recruiter.

"During that time we had the first woman chaplain, happened to be Presbyterian, and of course there were doctors," she says. "One of the first few women civil engineers came in during that time."

And Johnson says their service in Korea marked the beginning of women's advancement in the workplace.

"With the women's movement, you know, women were getting out there and we wanted to do more than just administration and personnel," says Johnson.

Johnson, Porter, and other female veterans of the Korean War are being honored at the Women in Military Memorial at Arlington Cemetery. The program also kicks-off a month long series of events in commemoration of Women's History Month.

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