Re-Introducing Proudly She Served Participants

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Sarah Fischer
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As mentioned in our previous blog, The Proudly She Served project decided to push our timeline into mid to late 2022. We will announce our new timeline in the next few months but wanted to take this opportunity to re-introduce the project and highlight our amazing women active-duty military and veterans who are participating in the project.

The Proudly She Served Portrait series highlights the valor, bravery and dedication of women in the United States military and veterans. The 12 large-scale portraits convey a positive message about the strength, courage and selfless service of women in the American military and veterans. The paintings and women’s compelling stories will inspire generations to follow in their footsteps

Imagine twelve large paintings of women who have served in the military or are still on active duty - women who have proven themselves in combat and non-combat duty and who have continued to give back and offer themselves as mentors to those who follow. These amazing women have been leaders at all levels, both in the military and in the corporate ranks, and have overcome obstacles not known by the average public. Many have first-hand accounts of military operations and tell real-life captivating stories.  

The amazing cadre of 12 women veterans who are highlighted in the Proudly She Served series include the following active duty/veteran military women:

Sen Tammy Duckworth - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016.

Nicole Cimino – Coast Guard Senior Chief - Nurse – Retired Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Nicole Knowles Cimino works as a Medical Cardiac ICU nurse and has been part of the Covid-19 care staff, caring for critically ill patients from the Washington State area.

Arabia Essence-Shanklin – Naval Academy graduate and collegiate track & field athlete, Naval Officer, and entrepreneur, Arabia Essence-Shanklin, is the face of our young military personnel serving today. Surface Warfare Office and dual military spouse with husband, Marine Corps Officer, Gerrico.  

Bernice "Bee" Falk Haydu - (born December 15, 1920) was an American aviator and Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) in World War II. Bee remained active in aviation and as an advocate for women pilots into her 90s and was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal

Kim Brooks – Koyukon Athabascan, Caribou Clan Native American, Marine Corps veteran & Combat Engineer

Kirstie Ennis – Former Marine Corps helicopter door gunner and airframes mechanic, Wounded Warrior, Ironman, Stuntwoman, Fitness Model, Summit Adventurer, Entrepreneur

Dawn Halfaker – Retired Captain, U.S. Army, West Point graduate, Wounded Warrior, Chief Executive Officer of Halfaker and Associates, an award-winning professional services and technology solutions firm. Dawn remains active supporting numerous civic, cultural and business organizations and is a staunch advocate for Veterans and Wounded Warriors.

Miyoko Hikiji – Former Army soldier, Iowa Army National Guardsman, award winning author of “All I Could Be: The Story of a Woman Warrior in Iraq,” model, professional speaker, and former Iowa Congressional candidate

Angel Hughes – Haitian immigrant, Coast Guard pilot, Founder & CEO of Sisters of the Skies, a nonprofit organization that  cultivates and promotes minority women in the aviation industry through scholarships and mentorship.

Nicole Malachowski – Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, F-15E Strike Eagle pilot and first woman selected to fly as part of the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron- Thunderbirds and inductee into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, White House Fellow and adviser, fighter squadron commander, Professional Speaker

COL Karen Meeker - Chaplain, U.S. Army, United Methodist ordained elder, currently serving as the Landstuhl Regional (Germany) Medical Center command chaplain. Karen has served multiple combat tours throughout her career and is an avid speaker, counselor, and mentor who encourages all levels of Army leaders and personnel to “Dream Big.”

1LT Louise Rand – Army Flight Nurse Lieutenant Louise Rand, graduated from the Ruth Brandt School of Nursing and the U.S. Air Force School of Aviation Medicine in June 1945, and served in WWII in the Army's 830th Medical Air Evacuation Squadron with one of her primary jobs as caring for the wounded on flights out of Karachi to Cairo in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Louise died at age 93 in Bay Shore, N.Y. and was not originally authorized to be buried at Arlington Cemetery but her daughters fought to get Rand her own marker given her service. They prevailed, and Rand was buried at Arlington with a full honors ceremony on May 27, 2015.

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