Women Airforce Service Pilotsby Representative Bruce Poliquin
Posted on 2016-01-11
POLIQUIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the Congresswoman.
I don't think it much matters if you are a man or you are a woman, but you serve in the United States military. Anybody who has stood up for this country to protect our freedom, protect our way of life, protect our kids, they should receive the full benefits, the full honors of anybody who served in uniform.
Now, tonight, as Congresswoman McSally said, we can fix this. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why the Pentagon should, for some reason, say there is no room at Arlington. Are you kidding me? Over 1,000 of these brave, patriotic women, during a time where, as Congresswoman McSally and Congresswoman Davis mentioned, they were not always welcomed in doing what men were doing, they stood up, they stood up and they left their homes and they left their families. They did what was right. They served this country with honor, with dignity. They flew 78 different types of aircraft all over the world. Over 60 million miles were logged. Look at this picture.
I salute you, Congresswoman, for bringing this before us.
Now, do you think any of these WASPs were saying, ``Well, I don't know, we just can't get this done, we just can't perform this mission, I am sorry''? Well, the Pentagon needs to step up right now. They need to find a [[Page H262]] way to make sure, if these WASPs want to be interred at Arlington, they should be.
Now, some of the missions that these brave women flew on included transporting these vehicles all around the world. You know what they also did? They towed targets for men on the ground that were practicing artillery. Did you hear one of these WASPs complain, ``Gee, I hope that these men will hit the targets instead of us''? The least the Pentagon can do is to take this seriously, listen to the will of the people, and make sure that these brave women are so honored by being interred, if they wish, at Arlington.
Now, one of these humble American heroes is a woman by the name of Betty Anne Brown, who very recently passed away at age 92. Now, wouldn't she be proud of all of us today standing up and asking that our country, that the Pentagon does the right thing? I salute Ms. McSally for her leadership on this issue. The Pentagon can do what is right today. As you mentioned, Congresswoman, legislation is not needed if our Commander in Chief or the folks who run the Pentagon stand up and do what is right.
These women deserve every right to be buried at Arlington if they so wish.
Thank you very much, and I am honored to cosponsor this bill.
Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Poliquin. I really appreciate his strong support and strong words in support of this effort here.
I yield to the gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. Langevin), my good friend. I think back to how many years ago it was this week, actually, when I was your guest at the State of the Union Address. So I have appreciated your support to me when I was in the military and the fights that we had to make sure that women were treated fairly and, also, your strong support on this particular effort.