HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) – Horseheads American Legion had Women travel from across the region to stand in solidarity for equality and recognition for Women Veterans. The organizer of this event says for too long. Women Heroes have suffered due to not being recognized as a veteran.

“When I got out of the army, the V.A. Hospital informed me that I’m not considered a veteran. You are not entitled to benefits. They said I wasn’t eligible for any benefits. For 29 years, I believe that,” said Terry Souder, 2nd Vice Commander, Chemung County American Legion.

Women must be acknowledged for their commitment and service and given access to their benefits.

“I’ve been that woman barely surviving and picking which bill isn’t gonna get paid this month. It’s either pay that bill or have food on my I wanted to be inclusive of all women regardless of your financial status,” said Souder.

Elizabeth Estabrooks noted that there is a misconception that today is women’s veterans day. However, it’s the day that commemorates women’s full participation in permanency in the military.

“Women have been Serving since the American Revolution. June 12th, 1948, marks our full permanency status as members of the military. That’s why we celebrate June 12th,” said Elizabeth Estabrooks, Deputy Director, Center For Woman’s Veterans in the V.A.

Women’s Veterans stood in unison, showing their respects for one another in a true sisterhood fashion.

“Women’s Recognition Day recognizes the good works that go into us to do for our fellow humankind. We have to work together with women to make any change,” said Jean Bacquie, Women Veteran.

Often women veterans get pushed aside by the public and male compadres. Their focus is for women to be treated equally and recognized for their efforts since they volunteer their time and service.