Women veterans are the fastest-growing segment of the veteran population and have been serving in the Armed Forces since the Civil War. This is why we think it's only right to recognize a few of the women who dedicated their lives to serving their country, some of them making the ultimate sacrifice.
Here are three notable women buried in Arlington Cemetery and whose information is stored in the Women in Military Service for America Memorial .
Corporal Jessica Ellis
Born in 1983 Cpl. Jessica Ellis grew up in Central Oregon. She was avid in high school sports, participating in cross-country and the swim team. She enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2004 as a medic and two years later was deployed to Iraq with the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team,101st Airborne Division. She deployed again to Iraq in October 2007 and was affectionately referred to as "Doc Ellis".
She was killed on Mother's Day in 2008 while serving as a medic to a team of combat engineers in Baghdad when her vehicle was struck by an Explosively Formed Penetrator. She was 24 years old and was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
You can find her uniform and other artifacts from her life on display at the Women in Military Service for American Memorial.
Rear Admiral Grace Hooper
Rr. Admr. Grace Hopper, also known as "Amazing Grace" was born on December 9, 1906. She retired at 79 years old in 1986 as the oldest commissioned officer on active duty. She served 43 years in the United States Navy.
She initially did not meet the Navy weight minimum requirement and joined the WAVES in WWII. An innovator in computer programming, you have Hopper to thank if you've ever "debugged" your computer. The term was coined after she removed a moth from a computer. While a part of the WAVES she also helped develop Common Business Oriented Language, more commonly known as COBOL, an English-based computer language for business. She continued on active duty beyond the standard retirement age until 1986. Hopper died in 1992.
Brigadier General Hazel Johnson-Brown
Brigadier General Hazel Johnson-Brown had aspirations to become a nurse but her application to nursing school was rejected because she was black. She eventually attended Harlem Nursing School in New York, a nursing school created for African American women in 1923. Johnson-Brown enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1955 serving as a staff nurse in Japan and a chief nurse in Korea. She eventually became the Director of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing and in 1979 was promoted to Brigadier General after her selection as the Chief of the Army Nurses Corps. She was the first black woman general of the United States Army.