faqlogomess dress

Questions Answered, Argued and Miscellany

Hi there - if you've just landed from Fort Belvoir this is obviously not the starting point. Scroll all the way down to the bottom for a list of all the pages on this site.

Q. Do you have a bibliography for this site that I can use?
(Usually asked by students who want to plagiarize it for a term paper or budding authors who want instant research done for nothing.)

A. There are seven bookcases in my home filled with everything from rare antiquarian books from the early 1800s to modern references from the '90s. My personal papers and archives fill boxes, my 22 years of service adds the experience factor and 15 years of teaching research adds more. Some references are scattered through the site, others are not available. No there is not a bibliography nor will I provide one - you figure out why.

Q. Will you send me more information on "____________"?
(Usually a question about a particular person or event mentioned on site, often from elementary school students.)

A. Normally I have neither the time nor the inclination to research specific topics and add more information but neither do I wish to disappoint youngsters. If the item or person is on the site I will send the page. I try to answer them by explaining how to use a search engine to get more information. If I know that the information isn't out there on the internet I refer them to their library. Every request from a student is answered individually.

Q. Do you have assistants working on your site?

A. I wish. No, it is strictly a "one-woman-band" operation - and I am solely responsible for the content, including original images, the research, the sarcasm, and the opinions on the site.

Q. Were you ever in combat and did the men bother you about it?

A. Front line combat - no, but then neither have eighty percent of the men in the military. I have however - survived two military plane crashes; have rescued a sergeant from drowning at Stinson Beach, Califonia; have helped remove dead bodies from the flight line after an RB-47 crash; disarmed a knife-wielding troop in a barracks brawl; disabled and removed a would-be rapist from my squadron's barracks; thwarted two bloody suicide attempts; and performed many casualty and mortuary duties too gruesome to mention.
Most of the men with whom I served were gentlemen, very supportive of military women and very much our defenders against the few creeps who were soon dispatched by the real men in the service. Women were not allowed in combat during my service times even though in both Korea and Vietnam they were in the line of fire. Though not my service years, in WWI and WWII women were also in the line of fire, wounded, taken prisoner, and killed, but history and rant organizations seem to leave that out - which is one of the purposes of this site.

Q. Why nothing on Molly Pitcher?

A. Because we don't really know that there ever was a Molly Pitcher - I'm inclined to agree with historians like Dr. Linda Grant DePauw, President of The Minerva Center, who says in part: "Molly Pitcher is the name of a legendary figure of the American Revolution. She is associated with the Battle of Monmouth and since 1876 has been identified with a woman veteran of the war, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, who lived in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. As part of the centennary events of that year, an unmarked grave believed to be hers was opened and the remains were reburied with honors under a plaque delaring her to have been the real embodiment of the famous Molly Pitcher.
The central theme of the Molly Pitcher story is of a woman whose husband was wounded or killed while serving at an artillery piece at the Battle of Monmouth. She took his place to the admiration of the other soldiers who admired her courage and devotion to her husband. The story has seemingly endless variations, often including a cameo appearance by George Washington who gives her either a gold coin -- in one version a whole hatful of gold coins -- or a promotion to sergeant or captain. Some books even provide elaborate dialogue said to have passed between the camp woman and the commander in chief. In many of these, she speaks with an Irish brogue, but sometimes she is represented as German.
Often students doing school projects on "Molly Pitcher" ask for details about her place of birth or childhood experiences and education. There are no historical sources that can provide such information about a legendary character.
The real woman, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley was awarded a pension by the State of Pennsylvania in1822 "for services rendered" during the war -- this was more than the usual widow's pension which was awarded to soldiers' wives who marched with the army. So one assumes she did something special. But when she died there was no mention of a cannon or the Battle of Monmouth in her obituary. Historical sources do confirm that at least two women fought in the Battle of Monmouth -- one was at an artillery position and the other was in the infantry line. There is no evidence linking either of them to McCauley."

For more about The Minerva Center please visit: Minerva

Q. Will you please send me the CD of your web site to use in class, I'd be happy to pay for it.

A. This is probably the nicest complimentary request I've had in two years - sorry there is no CD - what you see is what you get.

Q. Do you get any nasty mail about your site or about women in the service?

A. Fortunately very few from the world of ignorant folks or those picayunish critics who never read past the first page then argue about the content. And I have neither the time nor the inclination to engage in dialogue with chowderheads, misogynists, neanderthals, or anti-feminists - - this is not a feminist site by the way - it's history, sprinkled with opinion. That's my style and that's my site. In this respect I have a "like it or leave it attitude" - and nastygrams get the trash button in a wink.

Q. What kind of uniform did you wear in the Civil War?

A. Ouch. O.K. - so I'm over fifty - but not that far over. (For the record it was a youngster and my courteous reply was an explanation of the dates and the fact that the nurses wore some really encumbering outfits of the times - but the question did make me laugh.)

Q. Why aren't women required to register for the draft?

A. Here's why women do not have to register with the Selective Service System.

Selective Service law as it's written now refers specifically to "male persons" in stating who must register and who would be drafted. For women to be required to register with Selective Service, Congress would have to amend the law.

The constitutionality of excluding women was tested in the courts. A Supreme Court decision in 1981, Rostker v. Goldberg, held that registering only men did not violate the due process clause of the Constitution.

At President Clinton's request, the Department of Defense reviewed this issue in 1994. DoD noted that America's prior drafts were used to supply adequate numbers of Army ground combat troops. Because women are excluded by policy from front line combat positions, excluding them from the draft process remains justifiable in DoD's view. Although no conclusions were reached, DoD recognized that policies regarding women need to be reviewed periodically because the role of women in the military continues to expand.

The Selective Service System, if given the mission and additional funding, is capable of registering and drafting women with its existing infrastructure.

Source: US Selective Service System.

Q. Do you have any information about Gulf War Illness??

A. The Department of Defense Gulf War website is at GulfLINK

The VA's Gulf War Helpline number is: 1-800-749-8387

Q. Were you ever on television - my brother says you were on in N.J. but not about military?

A. Honest - this question was not sent by a friend or relative. Yes, I've been on television many times - ever so briefly on CNN last year, and for two years in New Jersey with a program about Collectibles, and for affiliate interviews in Philadelphia about being in the military, and on every popular game and quiz show in New York City when I was on recruiting - way back in the days of black and white TV.

Q. What does it cost you to maintain your miltary women site - like do you have expenses - or do you have a corporate sponsor - or do you accept donations or does the government pay for it?

A. Working backwards here -
First - no way does the government pay for anything related to the web site.
Second - I do not have a corporate sponsor - not sure I'd want one because they might "cramp my style" in terms of the opinions and such. If I did get an offer of corporate sponsorship - which is pretty remote - I'd also want to insist they make a donation to the Women's Memorial in Washington D.C. as well as give me carte blanche to have it my way.
Third - yes I have expenses - in addition to internet fees, I just had to buy a new modem and also get my computer repaired. I purchase essential books regularly on everything from keeping up with html to the latest books on military women....and so on.
Fourth - with respect to donations - as much as I could use them I think it would be both presumptive and arrogant of me to solicit them from individuals.

Q. How is it that you retired as only a Captain?

I've actually held ten ranks - Pvt.,PFC.,Corporal, Sgt., Staff Sgt., Tech. Sgt., 2nd Lt., 1st Lt., Captain, and Major, which I declined in order to retire. I was enlisted for ten+ years and commissioned for ten+ years.

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