Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join my colleagues today to honor the thousands of courageous women of the United States Armed Forces. In particular, I am pleased to honor the 5 courageous women who were chosen to be honored by the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues at the 7th Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. These 5 women are:
Command Sergeant Major Debra Strickland of the United States Army;
Master Chief Storekeeper Kelly D. Williams of the United States Navy;
Chief Master Sergeant Margaret C. Burgess of the United States Air Force;
Sergeant Major Barbara J. Titus of the United States Marine Corps;
Senior Chief Store Keeper Corzetta ``Cozy'' Calloway of the United States Coast Guard.
I join my colleagues in commending these women for their bravery and self-sacrifice.
Today, women are making great contributions to our military. There are approximately 212,000 women serving the United States in the Armed Forces, including 33 women generals. For the past 10 years, women have served in combat positions. As women become a larger presence in all areas of the United States military, like their male colleagues, they are risking their lives for our country. As of April 30, 18 United States women soldiers have died in Iraq. This is a higher number of female casualties in any war since World War II. We all owe a great debt to our servicewomen who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Today, as many women in uniform are deployed overseas, it is especially appropriate to honor them and show that their service to our country is greatly appreciated and respected. It is an honor for me to recognize the worthy accomplishments of these particular 5 outstanding military women, those servicewomen who have died in service to our country, and all of the women who currently serve or have served in the United States military.
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