‘Women serve too:’ Lubbock veteran honoring fellow servicewomen with photo tribute

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 10:47 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock veteran wants her fellow female veterans to be better recognized for their service. Sarah Weede is trying to show them the honor they deserve - one photo at a time.

“They signed the check that was blank, payable to the amount of their lives. We knew that there was a risk associated with it and we still raised our right hand and we still answered our nation’s call,” Weede says.

An Air Force flyer herself, Weede began her tribute project, traveling across West Texas to photograph female veterans, capturing their sacrifice in every snap of the camera.

She got the idea after hearing stories from other women at the VFW, like the one about a man approaching a female veteran wearing her own jacket.

“And he was like, ‘Hey, you should be ashamed of yourself.’ She was like, ‘Why?’ And he was like, ‘You’re wearing your husband’s jacket, that is stolen valor.’ And she’s like, ‘Excuse me? That’s not stolen valor, this is my jacket. My husband didn’t even serve,’” Weede said.

Unfortunately, Navy sailor Patricia Roberts has had similar experiences.

“They’ll say ‘thank you to your husband for serving,’ and I kind of get mad and I say, ‘Look, I’m the one that served.’ I said, ‘My ID card, here’s my ID card,” Roberts said.

“The whole purpose of the photoshoot was just to let people know hey, there are female veterans in the community. We raised our right hand just like our brothers did, and we’re here. We’re not looking for praise or accolades, nothing like that, we just want people to know that we’re here,” Weede said.

Donna Sargent, who served in nuclear medicine in the Air Force in the 70s, says there used to be limited career fields for women in the military.

“Now, we’ve got girls that fly fighter planes. So, there’s just no career field not open to women anymore, and I think that’s great,” Sargent said.

Weede’s tribute to women veterans has been gaining attention - she’s taken photos in cities from El Paso to Big Spring.

This round in Lubbock is just in time for Women Veterans Recognition Day on June 12. Weede says it is not a separate Veteran’s Day for women, but recognizes the act that allowed women the right to serve.

“Just want them to know that the women are out here and serving just like the men are - on the ships, out in combat, the whole nine yards,” Roberts said.

If you’re a female veteran who would like to join the tribute and have your photo taken, you can email Weede at Sarah.Weede.VFW2466@gmail.com.

As Weede updates photos, they will be placed here on this Facebook page for people to view them.