TYLER, Texas —

For the second straight year, East Texas organizations are coming together to honor female patriots with a Women Veterans Day celebration.

Workforce Solutions East Texas, the Texas Veterans Commission and the East Texas Veterans Association of Warriors are hosting an event to recognize our local heroes.

On June 12, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, enabling women to serve as permanent, regular members of the armed forces. 

On May 5, 2017, Texas State Representative Victoria Neave (D-Dallas) filed House Bill 2698, seeking to establish Women Veterans Day in Texas. 

HB 2698 was later incorporated into Texas Senate Bill 805 and, on June 9, 2017, was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott designating June 12 as Women Veterans Day in the Lone Star State. Texas is one of the four states (Oregon, New York and California) that recognizes June 12 as Women Veterans Day statewide.

"The reason Women Veterans Day came about, is because they saw a declination in services for women veterans, where there was an increase for men,” Heather Williams, veteran and Veterans Resource Coordinator for Workforce Solutions East Texas in Tyler, said.

That topic is something Williams hopes to discuss at the Women Veterans Day Celebration Wednesday night in Tyler. She noted a lack of awareness, being one of the reasons there are a lack of resources.

“It's going to give us a chance to talk about some of those issues that women veterans are facing,” Williams said. “Connect with some of the other women veterans there, to maybe start developing some of those resources specifically for women."

One of the lacking resources Williams mentions is there are no respite housing options available for women veterans in Smith County, but there are for men. Williams has also found it's difficult for women veterans to find trade jobs after coming home from serving our country. 

The celebration and recognition for women veterans will be held at the Holiday Inn, located at 5701 South Broadway Avenue from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Dinner and entertainment will be provided.

Tickets are free and available on Eventbrite. 

For more information, contact Emma J. Breitbarth with the Texas Veterans Commission at (903) 561-8131 ext. 5341.