MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD)– June 12 is Louisiana Women Veterans Day highlighting achievements of women in the military and honoring those who have and are still serving our country.

This day marks the 70th anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on June 12, 1948.

Here in the Arklamiss, two local veterans share their most memorable accomplishments. 

“I can never imagine what I could be or what I could’ve accomplished or who’s lives I could’ve touched if I hadn’t been to the military, gone through boot camp, the experience, the five years I was in. It really changed me,” said Post Quartermaster and veteran, Stepheni LeGuin.

 LeGuin joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of 18, a challenge she took on herself right out of high school 

“The big reason why I went in is because a lot of people felt I was too small to do it, I couldn’t do it, it was too hard, and I really wanted a challenge,” LeGuin said. 

“I went to Yashima one time. I went to South Korea one time, which qualifies me for the VFW Veterans of Foreign Wars,” explained LeGuin. “ I was in Hawaii and Okinawa the rest of the time so it was pretty easy.”  

Sarah Campbell-Philips comes from a military oriented family, and she served in the Army for three years. She says many times women are still overlooked and not recognized for their service. 

“I went to Fort Dix, New Jersey for basic training and advanced individual training (AIT). Then I went to Garsten, Germany. I was 2nd Army Division for Support,” explained Campbell-Philips. “People need to change their ways of thinking, a soldier is a soldier whether it is a male or female.” 

“I will go somewhere with my husband and people will recognize him and not me,” LeGuin said. 

Both LeGuin and Campbell-Philis highlight the importance of recognizing women veterans.  

“I don’t want to be different. I’m a veteran, I served my country and I happen to be female,” LeGuin said. 

“My well being depends on my fellow soldier. I have to have your back and you have to have mine,” Campbell-Philips added.