A veteran represents one of the most venerated individuals in society. With many soldiers contending with life after service, it is obvious that the military is changing in vast and revolutionary ways. A relatively recent aspect of military life is the introduction of woman into the ranks. This historical event has lead women to perform admirably and heroically in the armed services. A brief summary of women veterans and their role in military life is thus in order, especially given that March was women's history month.

Early history of women in military
According to The Huffington Post, the number of women in the U.S. armed services has reached an "unprecedented" level. The source noted that women were involved in military preparation during the American Revolutionary War, serving as nurses and other non-combative roles. However, despite the prohibition on women in combat until relatively recently, many women found a way to the front lines. This may have been indicative of the eagerness that women have shown throughout U.S. history to enter the ranks of the military, although this was only reflected legally in recent decades. Deborah Sampson, a woman of the revolutionary generation, disguised herself as a man to serve in George Washington's army for a year in 1781, according to  Another prominent woman during the American Revolution was Mary Ludwig, who helped bring water to patriot troops in the Battle of Monmouth.  

Seminal influence of "Molly Pitcher" 
Monmouth is located in central New Jersey, playing a significant role in the tide turning to the patriot side in the war. Ludwig earned the moniker "Molly Pitcher" for her life-saving efforts to bring sustenance to troops, even taking up the mantle as a cannon gunner when her husband was incapacitated during the battle. Her memory lives on today in the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank, New Jersey, a posh restaurant and hotel that overlooks the placid Navesink River. 

The U.S. has filled the venerable legacy of Molly Pitcher, having a significant number of women in the army, not to mention female soldiers who will receive veterans insurance. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a special section on their website called the Center for Women Veterans providing information on health, resources, community engagement and  public service. This can be an excellent resource if returning veterans are unsure of the benefits they are entitled to. Likewise, the Veterans Affairs website offers information for the family and spouses of returning veterans, a valuable resource for loved ones eagerly awaiting a solider from overseas. 

Influential moments in the history of women's role in the armed services
According to History. Org, women were officially allowed in the armed services in 1973, when the draft was ended. This lead to the creation of an all-volunteer-army, helping to exponentially increase the number of women in the ranks.

Another prominent turning point occurred when women began to be permitted at military service academies, such as West Point. The glass ceiling has continued to crack, with thousands of women serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and other hotspots.

The source noted that 41,000 women were deployed during the Persian Gulf War, a testament to the quick ascension women have made in the army in the relatively short time they have been authorized to serve.

For some, the gains may seem slow and incremental. The source also suggests this, displaying the progress throughout the years that women have made in the armed services. For example, a woman commanded a warship for the first time in 2000, while the first time a woman commanded a fight squadron only occurred in 2004.