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Celebrating Women Veterans

A black and white photo of African American women soldiers marching in dress uniform.
The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was an African American battalion of the Women's Army Corps (WAC). It was the only all-black, all-female battalion overseas during World War II. Credit: Wikipedia.

Seventy-three years ago tomorrow, a new law permitted women to serve in the U.S. military--not only during war, but also in times of peace--and in all the branches. We speak with two women veterans about their experience.

Laverne Harmon served two decades in the U.S. Army. Now, as program manager for vocational rehabilitation services at the VA Maryland Health Care System, she connects veterans to new careers. And DeVaki Leonard describes the support she and her sons received from the VA and local nonprofit, Project PLASE, when facing homelessness.

Tomorrow, June 12, is celebrated in some states as Women Veterans Day. Today, Project PLASE will host the Montford Point Marine Auxiliary for an event to honor women veterans.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is Senior Supervising Producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.
Melissa Gerr is a Senior Producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'