With the recent announcement that women will be allowed to serve in combat positions in the American armed forces for the first time, there has been a renewed interest in the history of women who have served. An upcoming event, “Women of Valor,” will pay tribute to those individuals.
Organized by Daniel Hudson, Chairman of the Utah Military Veterans Affairs Committee and a Vietnam veteran himself, the event will take place over April 11-13, each evening’s performance at 7:30 pm at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. He explained the reasons for the event and his hopes for the funds it could raise.
“This committee (the UMVAC), which is an umbrella organization for military and veterans organizations in Utah, has a project to build a women’s military service memorial at the Fort Douglas Museum. Fort Douglas itself just celebrated its 150th anniversary, and we’re also going to be recognizing that auspicious event,” Hudson said.
The event will feature performances from Utah dancers, and the profits will go toward building the memorial, which will pay tribute to women who held officer positions and also those who worked as mechanics, nurses, and in a wide variety of positions.
“We’re very excited that Repertory Dance Theater, a modern dance company in Utah which is internationally recognized, has offered to do a benefit dance concert for us,” Hudson said, praising the company.
On the first night, after the RDT dance performance, there will be a VIP event for women who served in the military. Hudson and the committee have been trying to seek out women who have served.
“We’re looking for women of distinction to honor, and we’re looking to invite VIPs from the military, business, and governmental community to come and help honor these special women and to publicize and help raise some money for the Women’s Military Service Memorial,” Hudson said.
The primary audience for the event will presumably be people associated with the armed forces, and Hudson described efforts to find an audience for it beyond the sphere of people who might like watching the dance company perform.
“We hope to get public service announcements on radio and TV. Especially on television. I’m going to request that Governor Herbert declare the week of April 7-13 as Women of Valor Week, and then we’re going to ask for similar recognition from the county mayor,” Hudson said.
The efforts of Hudson, the committee, and the RDT will hopefully be rewarded with a large turnout when the event starts in April.