WESTFIELD, NJ - Westfield residents Genevieve Mooers and Diana Taylor were honored for their service in the US Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II on Monday, September 13th, at the Westfield World War II Memorial.
"I am very honored," Mooers said. "After all these years I never expected this to happen-to be recognized for my contribution-but I am very happy that it did."
Congressman Leonard Lance (R-7) awarded Mooers and Taylor an American flag as a symbol of appreciation for their active duty. The flags were flown over the nation's capital on Monday, August 30th
"These women have done as much as anyone who have served to ensure that America is the place that it is today," Lance said.
The US Cadet Nurse Corps were the largest group of uniformed women to serve their country during World War II. By the war's end over 180,000 women had enrolled. The Corps served as nurses on the front, responsible for the treatment and recovery of U.S. soldiers.
"We wish to equalize benefits for all veterans who helped represent our country overseas," Lance said.
Lance is currently petitioning legislation -- the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act (HR 1211) -- within Congress that would give benefits to all veterans, including women. The legislation is highly favored by the Democratic party; Lance is the first Republican member of the House to support it.
Mooers and Taylor have long-sought equalized benefits, petitioning the government to procure the same funding for servicewomen as men.
"I just wish that myself and others who served will get the benefits that we deserve and have not been given for such a long time," Taylor said. "We have been fighting for years for the military to get the appropriate support."
At Monday's memorial they vocalized their support for the proposed legislation.
"Legislation for equal benefits has been in works for over 15 years," Lance said, "but, we're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel."