Women Veterans Medallion celebrates legacy, service, supports Idaho Veterans’ Cemeteries

Idaho News November 10, 2021

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Women Veterans Medallion celebrates legacy, service, supports Idaho Veterans’ Cemeteries

BOISE, ID. – Idaho Women Veterans Medallion celebrates the legacy and service the women of Idaho have given to the military over the years and supports our two Idaho Veterans Cemeteries.

This Veterans Day, we thank and honor the 18 million veterans still living and defending our great nation every day. In the wise words of Winston Churchill “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”

Idaho is proud to boast that 9.1% of our adult population are veterans. These men and women serve our country proudly. Idaho can also be proud of the two veterans’ cemeteries in Boise and Blackfoot that honor our fallen heroes.

Created to help fund our Idaho veterans’ cemeteries, the Idaho Women Veterans Medallion celebrates the legacy and service the women of this state have given to the military over the years. By telling the stories of Idaho’s homegrown heroes and commemorating their service and sacrifice in support of our military, Idahoans have an incredibly special way to honor our veterans.

The five women honored on the medallion, represent all veterans:

Judith Blake Eighmy enlisted and was commissioned as an ensign in the US Navy Nurse Corps where she cared for soldiers following medevac from Vietnam. In 1968 she served in Vietnam as an RN aboard the USS Repose. She cared for burn victims, the wounded, and patients with tropical diseases. She lives in Meridian, Idaho.

Carrie L. French, 19, is From Caldwell, Idaho, Carrie served as an ammunition specialist with the 116th Brigade Combat Team’s 145th Battalion. On June 5, 2005, while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Carrie was killed when an improvised explosive device hit the front of her convoy vehicle. She is the first woman from Idaho to be killed in combat.

In 1942 (during WWII), Kay Gott Chaffey volunteered to be part of the Women’s Air Service Pilots (WASPs) aircraft ferrying group. She flew 17 types of military aircraft, including her favorite, the P-51 Mustang. Kay was from Nampa, Idaho, and she is interred at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Wanda Pollard joined the Navy in 1953 at the age of 21. She was assigned as the hostess on the personal aircraft of the Commander in Chief, US Atlantic Fleet. While serving, she met many high-ranking civilians, foreign dignitaries and service officials. Wanda served for over four years and saw all parts of the world. Wanda was from Parma, Idaho.

At age 21, Carmelita Pope served as a USO officer during the last months of World War II. She appeared in “Kiss and Tell” and other productions performed for American troops in Italy. She was also a big-screen actress (appearing in “Miracle on 34th Street”) and was the first lady of Chicago Television. Carmelita was from Boise, Idaho.

The proceeds from the sale of this medallion and the earlier ones will support the Veterans’ cemeteries in Idaho. These funds are used to ensure Color Guards, volunteers and facility caretakers have the materials, uniforms, and tools needed to provide professional, safe, and meaningful ceremonies for the families and friends of Veterans interned.

This medallion is one troy ounce, .999 fine silver, and was minted in Idaho by Sunshine Mint, Inc. and is available at the Warhawk Air Museum, the Idaho State Museum, the Capitol Gift Shop, or in the State Treasurer’s Office.

For more information, please visit https://sto.idaho.gov/Other-Services/Idaho-Women-Veterans-Medallion-2020

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