HAUPPAGUE, NY – Suffolk County Legislature Majority Leader Susan A. Berland, along with the Suffolk County Women Veterans Advisory Board, co-hosted the 2nd Annual Women Veterans Appreciation Day Ceremony on Friday afternoon to honor female veterans from each legislative district for their service to our nation.
Last year, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved a resolution designating June 12th as “Women Veterans Appreciation Day” to recognize the sacrifices of women veterans who have valiantly served in our nation’s armed forces. This designation was the first official recommendation of the Suffolk County Women Veterans Advisory Board, an initiative sponsored by Majority Leader Susan A. Berland.
“I was thrilled to co-host this event again with the Women Veterans Advisory Board to honor our female veterans from across Suffolk County,” said Legislator Susan A. Berland. “Female veterans are deserving of a day on which their service and sacrifice is celebrated and appreciated. We have a responsibility to recognize the women of Suffolk County who are our soldiers and veterans. We need to thank them for their service, acknowledge their bravery and advocate for them to receive the benefits and opportunities they should be afforded.”
Women have formally been a part of the United States Military since the establishment of the Army corps in 1901, but have informally served since the inception of the American Revolution. In designating June 12th as “Women Veterans Appreciation Day,” Suffolk County emboldens the efforts of states and municipalities across the country to engage with and advocate for women veterans. June 12th was chosen for this designation because it was on this date in 1948 that President Harry S. Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, formally allowing women to serve as regular members of the military.
“I cannot say thank you enough, and I believe I speak for all when I say thank you to Legislator Berland for this initiation and the acknowledgement and appreciation for all women veterans in Suffolk County,” said Christine Glynn, Marine Corps Veteran and Chair of the Women Veterans Advisory Board. “These women are all trailblazers in their own way. Ages of these honorees range from the age of 30 to 102 and they each have amazing stories. They deserve recognition and support and that is exactly what they are receiving.”
To learn more about the incredible women recognized in this year’s ceremony, visit the Suffolk County Legislature’s webpage at https://www.scnylegislature.us/1291/2021-Women-Veterans-Appreciation-Day-Hon.To view a recording of the event, visit https://www.facebook.com/LegislatorSusanABerland.
Below is a list of this year’s Women Veterans Appreciation Day honorees.
Legislative District 1: Phaedra Musselman, U.S. Air Force – Nominated by Legislator Al Krupski
Legislative District 2: Cheryl Scarlato, U.S. Navy – Nominated by Legislator Bridget Fleming
Legislative District 4: Jessica L. Byers, U.S. Marines – Nominated by Legislator Nick Caracappa
Legislative District 5: Michelle Puleo, U.S. Air Force – Nominated by Deputy Presiding Officer Kara Hahn
Legislative District 6: Janis Henderson, U.S. Marines – Nominated by Legislator Sarah Anker
Legislative District 7: Pauline King, U.S. Army – Nominated by Presiding Officer Rob Calarco
Legislative District 8: Shannon Jones Montgomery, U.S. Army – Nominated by Legislator Anthony Piccirillo
Legislative District 9: Melinda Gobin, U.S. Navy – Nominated by Legislator Sam Gonzalez
Legislative District 10: Theresa Bertrand, U.S. Air Force – Nominated by Legislator Tom Cilmi
Legislative District 11: Estelle Kaczanowski, U.S. Army – Nominated by Legislator Steve Flotteron
Legislative District 12: Sarah Smilow, U.S. Army – Nominated by Legislator Leslie Kennedy
Legislative District 13: Betty Gibiino, U.S. Army – Nominated by Legislator Rob Trotta
Legislative District 14: Melaine Venus Balsdon, U.S. Marines – Nominated by Legislator Kevin McCaffrey
Legislative District 15: Pamela Usher, U.S. Army – Nominated by Legislator Jason Richberg
Legislative District 16: Amee Hernandez Waites, U.S. Army – Nominated by Legislator Susan A. Berlaand
Legislative District 17: Linda Amato, U.S. Army – Nominated by Legislator Tom Donnelly
Legislative District 18: Tara Kelly Jolly, U.S. Army – Nominated by Legislator William Spencer
The 2021 Suffolk County Women Veterans Appreciation Day Honorees
First row: Phaedra Musselman, Cheryl Scarlato, Jessica Byers, Michelle Puleo, Janis Henderson
Second row: Pauline King, Shannon Jones Montgomery, Melinda Gobin, Theresa Bertrand, Estelle Kaczanowski, Sarah Smilow
Third row: Betty Gibiino, Melaine Venus Balsdon, Pamela Usher, Amee Hernandez Waites, Linda Amato, Tara Kelly Jolly