VFW Women Memebers

Our Stories

Women veterans’ military service and strength have provided invaluable contributions to America's history. The perspectives and experiences of America’s women veterans are vital to the VFW as we continue to work to serve ALL veterans.

In honor of their service, the VFW is proud to share their personal narratives depicting their service experience, their reasons for joining the military, the impact it has made on their lives and what they consider to be their greatest successes while in uniform.

To all of the women who have selflessly sacrificed for our country, the VFW thanks you for your service.



Amy Stevens

Amy Stevens

While some think of the time I served as the Cold War, there were many conflicts involving great danger. Somalia, Bosnia, Grenada, Falklands. The forgotten wars … I particularly remember the attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon. So many lives ...

Andrea Borchlewicz

Andrea Borchlewicz

Two years into my military career, I deployed to Afghanistan. This deployment was life changing. I gained a new appreciation for life, learned more than I ever thought possible, and developed a sense of pride because ...

Stephanie Rivers Thumb

Stephanie Rivers

When there was an obstacle, I found another way to go forward. How do you ensure you are seen as equal ... always pull your own weight, do not take any special treatment ... do your job well, and take the hard positions. When the leader, ensure your leadership ... 

Angela Gray Thumb

Angela Gray

As a female, my job was scary and highly stressful each time we left the comforts of the wire but I had a job to do and it did not matter what your gender was, you were a soldier first. My deployment gave me an education a textbook or college, cannot give you ...

Blanca Duran Thumb

Blanca Duran

Sometimes, we see things we wish we didn’t see, and sometimes we hear things we wish we did not hear but there is a reason we do what we do, and that is because God decided to give us the character to handle anything ...

Cynthia Jones Thumb

Cynthia Jones

I am the first female to carry the ensign and be allowed on the White House lawn with a rifle ... My Naval service taught me to stand up for justice and respect. My greatest success as a woman veteran was to fight for freedom and choice of how I serve. My advice for women considering joining the military is ...

Cynthia Schmitz Thumb

Cynthia Schmitz

In my family “service” is a core value. My great grandfather served in the Civil War, my grandfather served in the South Pacific during World War II. My father along with my father in-law are both Vietnam War veterans and my brother, my husband and myself served in ...

Darlene Iskra Thumb

Darlene Iskra

I am proud to say that I was the first woman to command a commissioned vessel of the United States Navy! The Navy changed my life. It gave my life purpose and sense of honor. My tour on the USS Hector was probably the most exciting, because everything was ...


Edythe McGoff Thumb

Edythe McGoff

I always wanted an opportunity to share my skills and learn from others while “Being All I Could Be” (my motto) and be a patient advocate. I love the camaraderie, protocol, and opportunity to care for service people. Service changed me by becoming more ...

Tamera Calhoun Thumb

Tamera Calhoun

It’s weird how I was scared to go away to college, but not the military where I would know no one, or be near none of my family. I guess I figured I would see my classmates in training or something, just like high school, but I didn’t know that then. So signed up and ... 

Elizabeth McCormick Thumb

Elizabeth McCormick

YOU get to decide where you go. How high, how low, how fast or how … slow. It’s all up to you. Becoming one of the first 100 or so women to fly the Black Hawk in the U.S. Army did not come without challenges. Oh? You thought it was easy ...

Kimberly King

Kimberly King

I would say that probably the greatest success I had as a veteran ... was in doing a job that very, very few women would ever even consider doing. Women today, I believe, have great opportunities that were not available when I first joined. Back then people could ...

Krysten Ellis Thumb

Krysten Ellis

My earliest introductions to boat life included ... around age 6 or 7, I flooded the CO’s stateroom because I forgot to secure flushing water. My poor XO father got an earful and relentless ribbing. Strangely, I remember the horrible times fondly as well. After a sailor died, I saw the entire boat take care of his family. From the tragedy, I learned ...

Linda Johnson Thumb

Linda Johnson

I've spent 24 years serving in the military ... The Air National Guard Unit I belonged to went to Peru for a medical tour. We would set up a clinic in several different locations and saw 5,000 people in only eight days. We ...

Robin Harder Thumb

Robin Harder

My biggest piece of advice to any female considering joining the military is to take control of their service. Don’t just wait until you come down on assignment. Make phone calls, send emails, and find out what your options are before it’s too late and you only have ...

Jennifer Bowman Thumb

Jennifer Bowman

I continued to watch the old woman as she tapped. I tapped my window and waved. She looked up and, smiling, waved back. Then she pointed to something just below my window and, to my surprise, began crying. There was a small American flag painted ... 

Melody Thomas Thumb

Melody Thomas

Military service teaches so many skills ... The life experience you gain from exposure to people from all walks of life is irreplaceable. Young people learn responsibility and that there are things greater than themselves. Everyone in America should spend ...

Grace Johnson Thumb

Grace Johnson

I served as an accounting & finance officer from Dec. 31, 1968, to July 19, 1978. Serving in South Korea gave me an undying appreciation for the incredible United States of America, a country unparalleled in freedom and unlimited opportunity for those ...