My mother, Hazel E. Hill Turk, is the 1st. woman in the Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars. She is a disabled WWII Flight Nurse. Flight Nurses in the South-Pacific were among the first American women to serve in combat zones. She was denied membership in the VFW simply because she was a woman.VFW denied women membership for 80yrs.until August 1978 after a barrage of criticism and pressure from women veterans and the US government. After Hazel won her battle to join the VFW, she received a telephone call from then Vice President Walter Mondale, congratulating her.
Addendums:Hazel's hometown is Crosby-Ironton MN.She is the daughter of Finnish immigrants who worked in the iron-ore mines of northern MN. She is a fellow Crosby-Ironton classmate of Judge Miles Lord. Also, when she was a young girl she met Charles Lindbergh,who was flying mail planes for his uncle, the Postmaster in the Crosby postoffice. Finally,in the late 1970s there was political talk about closing or decreasing the size of the MN.VA Hospital...Hazel spoke at the podium, at a public meeting at the VA Hospital about the need for expanded services for veterans. This heartfelt speech helped to promote the building of the new Regional Veterans Hospital in Mpls.
~Debra Turk Olufson, Chanhassen, MN
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