DEAR ABBY: Veterans Day is next week, and I hope you'll address something I have encountered over the years. I am a Navy veteran who served four years as a Seabee. I was one of the first women to be assigned to a combat unit, and I am proud of my service. However, I dread it when Veterans Day rolls around. Why do people assume that because I'm a woman I am not a veteran?
Two years ago, when I went into a restaurant that serves veterans a free meal, the man in front of me was asked if he wanted a veterans' menu. He declined. The hostess did not ask me if I needed one; I had to request it. Later in the meal, the manager went to each of the tables speaking to the veterans, but skipped mine.
Today, many women serve, and it should not be a stretch that some veterans are female. Would you comment, Abby? -- OVERLOOKED IN LEXINGTON, KY.
DEAR OVERLOOKED: Gladly. I can understand why you were offended. However, I hope you realize that what happened occurred because of these people's ignorance, and it wasn't personal. While our armed forces have always been predominantly male, women have officially been part of our military only since World War II.
Many veterans wear hats or other items that identify what branch of the service they were in. To prevent this oversight from happening to you again, wear an insignia next Monday, which is Veterans Day. If you do, it will draw attention to the fact that many women serve in the military, which might be helpful to other female veterans. Thank you for your service to our country.