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Local vets to honor women who served

Some local veterans are making plans to honor the service of female veterans in the community.

Local Marine Corps Veteran Jose Tellas is among those organizing the event. He says the planning is still in the early stages, but he is enlisting the assistance of military officials in Las Vegas to make it happen.

“I have contacted Nellis AFB and they are willing to help us on this celebration. Due to the military sequester, we won’t be able to get a flyover, but I was told to submit the request anyway, which I will do. I also need the sponsorship of the Town of Pahrump for administrative support and to use the Pahrump Community Center for our committee meetings. I will also form a committee of male and female veterans for this,” he said.

The event will be held at the Pahrump Veterans Memorial.

Tellas said the celebration will be equal to the welcome home event for Vietnam Veterans last November at the Pahrump Nugget.

“Since time is running short and all the coordination for this event has to start ASAP, I did not contact the Pahrump Veterans Memorial Board with this information. I was out of town but I am sure they will approve the event. At present there are 79 female veterans living here in Pahrump, our community and all veterans will be glad to recognize our women veterans for serving their country,” he said.

Local DAV Chapter 15 Senior Vice Commander Bruce M. Cox said the event may eventually become an annual observance.

“That is what we are looking at. Something to observe the sacrifices of all of our veterans. We are also trying to incorporate the Pahrump Veterans Memorial to have something that is really recognized here in town. Right now we are focusing on this year. It looks like the town is also behind us on this too,” he said.

Local veteran Carl Jones said the time to honor women who have served in the military is long overdue.

“It’s a great idea and I’m surprised that we have not done this before. There are many women veterans in our area who have served honorably in the military and their efforts should be recognized,” he said.

Tellas, meanwhile, said there have been many women who earned decorations of valor throughout military conflicts over the decades.

“Women veterans in every era of the service need to be recognized and their legacy celebrated from the early service of our country. Many women have also gone unrecognized for their outstanding military service in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said

Tellas also noted some of the honors women have earned while serving.

“One woman earned the Medal of Honor. The Distinguished Flying Cross was given to five women and the Navy Cross was given to four while the Silver Star was given to eight women, just to name a few,” he said.

Tellas said he thinks it is unfortunate that the role of women in the American military has been unheralded but noted that in recent years the efforts of women are becoming more prominent even on the battlefield.

“Today, the role of women has expanded to every corner of every military occupational field and recently has proved to be a stronger presence on our front lines combat action as we have seen in Afghanistan and Iraq. Combat medics, pilots, gunners, and many other occupations, America’s active duty and veteran women have provided key services that have gone unrecognized far too long and history has proven that our women have stepped up to the challenge and completed the job above and beyond and have proudly served our country,” he said.

Town board members voted unanimously to support the celebration.

Town staff will work with Tellas to help organize the event coming up in November.

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