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Pics: New servicewomen monument unveiled at Arlington National Cemetery

"The Pledge" was dedicated at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, Oct. 17, 2020. (Rob Aiello, United States War Dogs Association, photo/Released)
October 21, 2020

A new statue honoring U.S. military servicewomen was unveiled at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Saturday.

The new statue, called “The Pledge,” was given to the Women In Military Service For America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, as a gift by the United States War Dogs Association. The statue was sculpted by sculptor Susan Bahary and features a servicewoman in combat gear, looking into the eyes of her military working dog companion.

“The Pledge” was dedicated at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, Oct. 17, 2020. (Rob Aiello, United States War Dogs Association, photo/Released)

Bahary said, “The Pledge honors the commitment of our brave servicewomen in all the jobs they do.”

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On Saturday, the Military Women’s Memorial tweeted, “We are proud to present…The Pledge. ‘She has made the pledge to protect and defend our country and the bonded pair share the unspoken pledge to keep each other safe and complete their mission successfully.’ — Sculptor, Susan Bahary #HerMemorial #WarDogs #WomenVeterans #MWM.”

“Honoring all women of the U.S. Military Past, Present and Future,” is inscribed into the front of the statue’s pediment.

The back of the pediment reads, “Let the generations know that women in uniform also guaranteed their freedom. That our resolve was just as great as the brave men who stand among us. And with victory, our hearts were just as full and beat just as fast – that the tears fell just as hard for those we left behind – Anne Sosh Brehm, 1Lt. U.S. Army Nurse Corps, WWII.”

“The Pledge” was dedicated at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, Oct. 17, 2020. (Rob Aiello, United States War Dogs Association, photo/Released)

Ronald Aiello, the President of the United States War Dogs Association, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served as a working dog handler in the Vietnam War in the 60s, said he envisioned the statue as a way to recognize women service members and in particular those who have served as handlers for working dogs.

While the Pentagon began allowing women to serve in combat roles in 2015, Aiello said even before that time, women were allowed to serve as handlers for military working dogs and would often work alongside combat units in harm’s way.

“The Pledge” was dedicated at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, Oct. 17, 2020. (Rob Aiello, United States War Dogs Association, photo/Released)

“A lot of them are women,” Aiello said of the members of the military K9 units. “Not only are they serving with the combat unit, a lot of times they’re actually leading it. They’re out front because that’s their job, to detect any danger that’s ahead of them, whether it’s an IED in a roadway or they’re going into a building to make sure that doorway to the building’s not booby-trapped with explosives.

Military working dog teams representing the U.S. Marine Crops, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army attended the Saturday unveiling event.

Military working dog teams representing the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army attend a dedication event for the unveiling of “The Pledge” on Oct. 17, 2020. (Rob Aiello, United States War Dogs Association, photo/Released).

On Saturday, Phyllis Wilson an Army veteran and president of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial tweeted, “Proud to accept THE PLEDGE at the Military Women’s Memorial, Arlington, Virginia honoring 3 Million Women that have defended this nation.”