WWI 'Hello Girls' would be awarded Congressional Gold Medal under Senate bill
By Julia LeDoux
via the WWl radio (New Orleans, LA) web site
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has introduced legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the female military telephone operators who kept American and French GIs connected during World War I.
The Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act would award the medal to the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Also known as the Hello Girls, the bilingual female switchboard operators connected more than 150.000 calls per day during the war, doing so at a rate six times faster than their male counterparts.
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont., Ranking Member Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., introduced the legislation this week.
“The Hello Girls were faster and more accurate than any enlisted man at connecting men on the battlefield with military leaders, and blazed a new path for women on the front lines in France during WWI,” said Tester. “They took the Army oath, helped our allied forces win the war, but were still denied the veteran status and benefits they earned. This Congressional Gold Medal will honor their service and provide them with long-overdue recognition.”
Despite their service, the Hello Girls fought for 60 years to be recognized as being among the nation’s first women veterans.
Read the entire article on the WWL radio web site here:
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