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Okaloosa County to hold 2nd Annual Women Veterans’ Day Celebration

The public is invited to attend the 2nd Annual Women Veterans’ Day ceremony on June 12, 2024, at 8 a.m. at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center. The celebration will begin with […]

The public is invited to attend the 2nd Annual Women Veterans’ Day ceremony on June 12, 2024, at 8 a.m. at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center.

  • The event aims to celebrate and recognize the service of women who have served in the U.S. military.

The celebration will begin with an indoor ceremony at the convention center, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the nearby Women Veterans Monuments at Veterans Park. Women Veterans Day was officially recognized by the State of Florida through a proclamation from Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2021.

“This event focuses on a group of veterans who may have been overlooked by others in the past,” said Okaloosa County Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel. “We want to recognize these women and let them know that their service has not been forgotten and in Okaloosa County, they will always have our support.”

The Women Veterans Monuments at Veterans Parkunveiled in 2021, features life-sized bronze statues of eight women who served in combat during various U.S. military conflicts. The statues are strategically placed along a quarter-mile path, surrounded by native wildlife, including a nearby great blue heron rookery.

Among the eight women depicted at Veterans Park is Sharon Ann Lane, a Vietnam Veteran and the only American nurse killed as a direct result of enemy fire in the Vietnam War. (Okaloosa County)

This year’s event will focus on the Vietnam War Commemoration, honoring the nation’s Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. The commemoration will continue through Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2025, marking the 50th anniversary of the departure of the last American troops from Vietnam.

Among the eight women depicted at Veterans Park is Sharon Ann Lane, a Vietnam Veteran and the only American nurse killed as a direct result of enemy fire in the Vietnam War.

  • Lane worked at the 312th Evacuation Hospital at Chu Lai and was awarded several medals for her service, including the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star with “V” device, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the National Order of Vietnam Medal, and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross (with Palm).

The public can learn more about the heroes depicted at the Women Veterans Monuments at Veterans’ Park by visiting http://myokaloosa.com/bcc/women-veterans-memorial.

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