Celebrating Women’s History Month

In a new episode, The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast kicks off Women’s History Month by welcoming guest Phyllis Wilson, the president of the Women’s Military Memorial.

A 37-year Army veteran and life member of USS Jacob Jones American Legion Post 2 in Washington, D.C., Wilson hits on a wide range of topics in the interview. She discusses the memorial, which is located at the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery; its recent 25th anniversary; the 300,000 stories of women veterans in their database and more.

“That is only 10% of the stories that should be in there,” she said. “Many of those stories that we are missing are from the current era, the last 15, 20, 25 years. So we’re asking everybody to step forward and claim your place in history. We can only tell the stories we know.”

It’s not just women who can submit names and bios. Men can share the achievements of their mothers, wives or daughters who have served. The memorial has set a goal of collecting 23,000 more stories this year. To submit a story, visit the memorial’s website, womensmemorial.org.

The memorial is undergoing a renovation now that will broadcast these stories in a “baseball card-like format” on a huge screen to visitors, amplifying their presence. “It’s really important that we pass these on to the next generation,” she says.

The podcast interview, which was recorded at January’s Student Veterans of America conference, is conducted by Jeff Daly and Ashley Gorbulja. The episode’s release is timed to coincide with Women’s History Month. Additionally, Wilson recently chatted with The American Legion Magazine about the memorial’s registry of service, raising the memorial’s visibility and the full integration of women in today’s military. Read the Q&A here.

In addition to the interview with Wilson, Daly teams with new co-host Ashley Gutermuth to discuss a range of topics. Among them:

• “Kitchen Kapers,” a cookbook for officers’ wives dating back decades. Among the, um, highlights include a “salad dressing for bananas” recipe. “No wonder people were miserable in the 50s and 60s,” Gutermuth says.  

• The heroics of a former president when he was in the Navy.

Check out this week’s episode, which is among about 170 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Google Play or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion’s YouTube channel.