Exhibit features Women in the Military.

This is first in a series of five articles on new exhibits at the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas: Women in the Military, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marines, and U.S. Navy.

A “bigger” way to honor women who served

Military service women’s pictures and uniforms have been on display in the museum since the “Women in the Military” exhibit’s debut in 2018. But the new museum exhibit provides a “bigger” way to honor women who served or are serving in the military. It occupies half a room, combining uniforms, photographs, historical newspapers, magazines, and artifacts into a concentrated space with an eye-popping centerpiece.

The refreshed exhibit features WWII uniforms on mannequins in an elegant lighted display case and includes a WWII Red Cross volunteer’s uniform. It serves as the striking centerpiece for an entire wall of photographs of women who served from WWII to the present, along with artifacts and mementos.

Fifty-two military women’s photographs, many with details of the women’s service, tell the stories from as far back as World War II, including a Life Magazine featuring cover photographs of WACs (Women’s Army Corps) service members.

A brief history of women serving (Wikipedia): “Women in the America have been serving their country since before the country was born. They started as spies, smugglers, and fighters disguised as men during the American Revolutionary War.

women in the military exhibit
women in the military exhibit

Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948

They were officially allowed to serve in the military in 1901, but only in certain branches and typically in wartime. They gained more diverse roles and peacetime service with the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948. They were integrated into the US military in 1978, but still excluded from combat. They were first allowed to serve in combat roles in 2013.”

Moving forward in time, women who served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in positions currently on U.S. bases both here and abroad are honored and featured in the museum’s exhibit. Brevard Mayor Maureen Copelof’s uniform and photographs honor her service as a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, holding the rank of Captain at her retirement.

It’s a good time for a return visit to the museum to see what’s new.

This and other exhibits make an interesting and educational experience for schools, scouts, and groups of every age. Please call 828-884-2141 to arrange a customized tour.