HomeTop StoriesWomen's Military History Week Commemorated at Vallejo Event

Women’s Military History Week Commemorated at Vallejo Event

VALLEJO — The third week of March is designated “Women’s Military History Week,” and on Saturday a special ceremony was held in the city of Vallejo to recognize female veterans and encourage them to speak out about their service.

Salutes to the military are not uncommon — they happen across the country several times a year — but recognizing women who serve is rare. On Saturday, the city of Vallejo gave a special thank you to the women who had to fight for the right to fight for their country.

“It is very, very gratifying and very helpful that your small town recognizes your service after such a long time,” said retired Army Sergeant Major Roberta Santiago.

Women have played a key role in the nation’s wartime history, but while their role has become more central to the combat mission, their efforts are often overlooked.

Dolores Mak
Dolores Mack received a certificate of recognition from the city of Vallejo at an event honoring women in the military.


Dolores Mack joined the Navy in 1955 and retired with the rank of Petty Officer. She said female veterans have been silent about their service for too long.

“Now is a time for women to stand up and not be afraid to speak up and be a part of our country,” she said. “But we’ve always been in the background and now we’re standing up to be equal and stand up for what we think is right.”

Delphine Metcalf-Foster was wounded during Operation Desert Storm and awarded the Bronze Star. She became a U.S. Army Reserve First Sergeant, a rank referred to as “Top” in the field. Although she had the respect of her own troops, it was a constant battle with outsiders.

“The guys in the next company said, ‘You’re kidding! A woman for a sergeant? What are you guys doing? I wouldn’t take orders from a woman,'” Metcalf-Foster said. “And the gentleman who told me the story said, ‘You know what we told him, Top? We wouldn’t have come here with anyone else because she’s not in the good old boys’ club!'”

Metcalf-Foster said her story is common for women in the military.

“There are so many women who have broken barriers, who have done things we will never know, but while their male counterparts are recognized, many women are not,” she said.

Perhaps because it’s been such a struggle, many female veterans don’t talk much about their service. As a result, they’ve struggled to gain attention when it comes to benefits for both retired and active service members.

“Not every woman is willing to stand up for what’s right, for what’s right for herself, for what’s right for the person next to them. It’s important because, if not you—who?” said Lourdes Tiglao, director of the VA’s Center for Women Veterans.

As a token of gratitude and encouragement, the city offered its female veterans a Certificate of Recognition, a small symbol that their sacrifice did not go unnoticed. Though she is now 90 years old, Chief Dolores Mack said she cherishes the gesture and urged current military personnel to speak out for fair treatment.

“Because if we don’t, everything we’ve fought for will be lost,” Mack said. “We have to keep going. We have to balance everything because we are here to stay. We’re not going anywhere!”

Women veterans are urged to participate in the “I Am Not Invisible” campaign by contributing to the oral history project, preserving their experiences for future generations.

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