The Women’s Memorial opened a new art exhibit and premiered a virtual reality video at the 20th Anniversary Celebration in October 2017. The exhibit and video both work to represent women’s lives and achievements in the military.
The Women’s Memorial is proud to present a 360 VR video, highlighting the history and importance of our living memorial. Join servicewomen and their supporters on a virtual tour of the Memorial. We’d like to give a special thanks to Story Up VR and Veterans United Foundation for allowing us all to virtually visit the Memorial.
Navy Quartermaster 1st Class Hurtado and Senior Chief Heady were both part of hand-picked crews to serve aboard the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, the USS Constitution, known as “Old Ironsides.” The Boston-based wooden-hulled three-masted heavy frigate was named by President George Washington to honor the Constitution of the United States of America. Based on photo by USN
Army Pfc. Janelle Zalkovsky, Civil Affairs Unit, 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, provides security while other Soldiers survey a newly constructed road, Ibriam Jaffes, Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, December 4, 2005. Based on photo by Spc. Charles W. Gill, USA
Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Ladda “Tammy” Duckworth deployed to Iraq in 2004 as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard. On November 12, 2004, an RPG hit her helicopter and she lost her legs and partial use of her right arm. Following her recovery, she became an advocate for veterans and their families and served as Director for the Illinois Department of Veterans. In 2009, she was appointed Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Duckworth retired from the Army National Guard in 2014 after 23 years and has been serving as the junior US Senator for Illinois since 2017. Based on photo by The Chicago Tribune
Marine Corp recruit Shavea Salafai gains proficiency with the M16 service rifle, which is lightweight and can hit a target with pinpoint accuracy from as far away as 550 meters, during boot camp. Based on photo by USMC
Army Capt. and West Point graduate Kristen Griest was one of the first two women to earn the Ranger Tab and graduate from the Army Ranger School, Fort Benning, GA, on August 21, 2015. Based on photo by Spc. Nikayla Shodeen, USA
Navy Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Lauren Houk conducts daily inspection on an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Wolf Pack of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75 in the hanger bay of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, Gulf of Oman, Operation Enduring Freedom, August 26, 2013. Based on photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Bartlett, USN
Air Force Master Sgt. Jennifer Higgs, 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron technician, conducts an equipment check inside a C-130 Hercules, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, February 21, 2013. Based on photo by Senior Airman Chris Willis, USAF
Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot 1st Lt. Kayla Bowers, 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, looks out of the cockpit of her aircraft, Graf Ignatievo Air Base, Bulgaria, Operation Atlantic Resolve, March 18, 2016. Based on photo by Staff Sgt. Joe McFadden, USAF
Coast Guard Lt. Holly Harrison, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Aquidneck and the first woman awarded the Bronze Star in the Coast Guard, sights in on a target with an M-4 rifle during small arms refresher training aboard the 110-foot patrol boat, Arabian Gulf, Operation Iraqi Freedom, June 23, 2003. Based on photo by PA1 John Gaffney, USCG
Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Jeanine McIntosh Menze, the first African American Coast Guard woman pilot, sits at the controls of C-130 Hercules, Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, HI, January 1, 2006. Based on photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jennifer Johnson, USCG
Air Force Capt. Tamara Archuleta, a HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter pilot deployed with the 41st Rescue Squadron, died along with five other crew members when their helicopter crashed in poor visibility conditions while trying rescue two injured Afghan children, Ghanzi, Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, March 23, 2003. Based on courtesy photo.
Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mates-Fuels, known as “Grapes” because of their purple shirts, operate and maintain aviation fueling and lubricating oil systems aboard ships, enforce fuel safety precautions, maintain fuel quality, supervise fueling and defueling of aircraft ashore and afloat as well as training and supervising fire fighting, fire rescue and damage control crews in fuel and lubricating oil spaces. Based on photo by USN
Army Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, vehicle commander, 617th Military Police Company, Kentucky Army National Guard, stands at parade rest after receiving the Silver Star at an awards ceremony, Camp Liberty, Iraq, June 16, 2005. Hester received the award for her heroic actions during an enemy ambush on a supply convoy near Salman Park, Iraq, on March 20, 2005, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She is the first woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star. Based on photo by Spc. Jeremy D. Crisp, USA
Servicewoman applies camouflage face paint before participating in a training exercise. Based on photo by DoD
Army Sgt. Jennifer Peters, 186th Military Police Company, Iowa Army National Guard, provides security during military operations on urban terrain as part of mobilization training conducted by the 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Dix, NJ, January 10, 2008. Based on photo by Staff Sgt. Russell Lee Klika, USA
Army Spc. Valetta Burgess, 59th Aviation Troop Command, South Carolina Army National Guard, performs a functions check on the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon during the Best Warrior 2017 Competition, McCrady Training Center, Eastover, SC, January 29, 2017. Based on photo by Sgt. Brian, Calhoun, SCARNG
Marine Corps supply warehouse clerk Lance Cpl. Jasmine Castaneda, Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, comforts a distressed boy aboard the USS Rushmore after he was rescued from a sinking raft in the Makassar Strait, Indonesia, June 11, 2015. Based on photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos, USMC
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jessica Craver, a motor transportation operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 7, carries a .50-caliber machine gun barrel for mounting onto an MK48 logistics vehicle system prior to convoy operations from Camp Dwyer to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, June 23, 2011. Based on photo by Lance Cpl. Samantha H. Arrington, USMC
Marine Corps Sgt. Christina Scott, Female Engagement Team member in direct support of 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, comforts an Afghan baby, Kajaki District, Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, March 14, 2012. Based on photo by Sgt. James Mercure, USMC
Coast Guard boat crewman SN Jayna Brunetti was awarded the 9th District Enlisted Person of the Year for 2016 while serving at Coast Guard Station Frankfort, MI. Based on photo by USCG
Marine Corps Recruit Jordan K. Carlson, Platoon 4001, Oscar Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, crawls through a combat training course during Basic Warrior Training held during the ninth-week of boot camp, Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot, Parris Island, SC, December 16, 2014. Based on photo by Cpl. Jennifer Schubert, USMC
Marine Corps Recruit Rebecca Andrew, Platoon 4000, Oscar Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, January 4, 2013. Based on photo by Sgt. Aaron Rooks, USMC
The young daughter of an Army serviceman hugs her parent’s rucksack, Fort Hood, TX, 2015. Based on photo by Brittany Morgan, Courtesy of the Military Child Education Coalition
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Eleanor H. Roper, field radio operator with Ragnarok Company, 2nd Supply Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, pulls a Marine Corps Cold Weather Infantry Kit sled up a slope during a field exercise, Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, CA, January 31, 2014. Based on photo by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie, USMC
Coast Guard Academy 4th Class Cadet Kelsey Hickle climbs the rigging aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle during the 2011 Summer Training Cruise commemorating the 75th anniversary of the 295-foot barque, Atlantic Ocean, August 1, 2011. Based on photo by Chief Petty Officer 1st Class NyxoLyno Cangemi, USCG
Air Force Senior Airman Samantha Baker, a military working dog handler deployed to the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, gives her partner, Penny, a hug after successfully completing a training session, February 10, 2014. Based on photo by Master Sgt. April Lapetoda, USAF
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Trelaine Buffaloe, senior drill instructor, Platoon 4010, 4th Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, stands in front of her platoon before a final drill evaluation at Peatross parade deck, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, March 22, 2007. Based on photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Stegall, USMC
Air Force Capt. Christine Hopper, the first African American woman fighter pilot to fly in combat, poses in front of an F-16 Fighting Falcon, 524th Fighter Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, NM, June 29, 2004. Based on photo by Airman 1st Class Dawn Kirton, USAF
Midshipman Elizabeth Belzer, a physics major and the first woman Trident Scholar, was the first woman to graduate from the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, May 1980. When the four service academies first admitted women in 1976 as a result of Public Law 94-106 signed by President Gerald Ford on October 7, 1975, more than 300 enrolled. The first coeducational classes graduated in May 1980. At Naval Academy, Elizabeth Belzer ranked highest of the 55 women in the 938-member graduating class. Based on photo by George H. Cook, The Baltimore Sun
A collection of 29 watercolor paintings produced over a period of three years by artist Dave Rappaport, portray contemporary women serving in the US military. Based on subjects found in photographs taken almost entirely from public domain sources, the portraits depict servicewomen working in a wide variety of occupations from medic to aviator to mechanic.
The paintings are created by using only a single color – Payne’s Gray, alternating the hues from almost black to almost white and a myriad of vivid shades of gray, lighter or darker based on the number of layers applied.
Rappaport says of this collection, “The faces of women in the military have changed dramatically in the twenty years since the [Women’s] Memorial was dedicated in October 1997.... I believe that my reliance on candid images of real women who have served or who are currently serving is in true consonance with the mission of the Memorial, and will allow all of you to both recognize and appreciate the ever-increasing contributions of our women veterans and of all those who are still on active duty.”
Dave Rappaport is a self-taught New York painter and sculptor who worked for the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy for 37 years. His earliest work was three-dimensional, but in the mid-1980s, he started working in two dimensions. His art then took on a black and white character, not unlike the early photographers that he had studied, such as Ansel Adams and Civil War photographer Matthew Brady. Unlike most of his contemporaries, though, Rappaport chose to reverse the color of the paper and drawing tool, using a hard white charcoal pencil rather than the traditional black, creating his portraits and landscapes on black folio paper. In time, he would experiment with charcoal pastels, introduce other colored papers, and eventually turn exclusively to watercolor.
His recent work, almost entirely monochromatic, is concentrated in two distinct areas: Maine’s Monhegan Island architecture and seascapes, and portraits of US military servicemen and women.
Exhibit Photographs by Donna H. Parry