Tribune Print Share Text

Women's club honors, celebrates their own

Created date

February 28th, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, VA Whether welcoming distinguished speakers, visiting historical museums and landmarks, or collecting the recollections of American war veterans, members of Greenspring s Women in Military Service (WIMS) club strive to celebrate and honor the role of women in American military history. "For so many women living here at Greenspring, the military is an important part of who they are," says WIMS member and former chair, Elizabeth Haynes. "Our club provides us the opportunity to not only share our stories, but also to connect with women currently in military services." Sharing experiences WIMS welcomes all women veterans living at Greenspring, including Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, and U.S. Public Health Service uniformed women. Women in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Civil Air Patrol are also welcome to the club, as well as women who served overseas during conflict in direct support of armed forces. These organizations include the Red Cross, United Service Organization, and Special Services. Four times a year, the 67 members of WIMS meet to listen to speakers or travel to local military destinations such as the Marine Museum in Quantico, Va., and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, the Library of Congress, and the World War II Memorial, in Washington, D.C. "We really appreciate taking the time to visit important historical landmarks," says current chair and one of the club s founders, Jean Jennings. "Living in the Washington, D.C. area also provides us the wonderful and unique opportunity to welcome outstanding speakers to our meetings." Recording history In addition to visiting local historical sites and scheduling distinguished speakers, the club, in partnership with the Women in Military Service Memorial and the Library of Congress, collects wartime histories from veterans within the Greenspring community as part of the Veterans Oral History Project. "The project is so rewarding," says WIMS member and project coordinator, Wanda Driver. "I really believe that it s a wonderful thing to do for the country. All of the stories collected as part of the Veterans Oral History Project will be preserved as a way of sharing the experiences of war veterans and those who supported them." Driver interviews both male and female veterans and preserves the conversations on DVDs. "I also make a point to include a variety of supporting materials such as diaries and photographs," says Driver. "Whenever possible and permissible, we share a copy of our taped interview with the veteran s family members," Driver says. Passing the initiative "My biggest hope is that other Erickson communities, after hearing what we are doing at Greenspring, will take the initiative and become active participants in the Veterans Oral History Project," Driver says. "We d also love to help other communities form their own WIMS clubs," Jennings adds, "and would share our constitution and all the materials we ve put together." Interested in starting your own WIMS club? For more information, contact Jenna Whitt, in Greenspring s community resources department, at 703-923-3131 ext. 4075.