WASHINGTON – Today Representatives Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Greg Gianforte (MT-AL), Cindy Axne (IA-3) and Troy Balderson (OH-12) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to honor Cadet Nurses who served during World War II by distinguishing them as honorary veterans, as well as providing them with burial privileges. This piece of legislation was chosen to be introduced close to the birthday of former Rep. Frances Bolton (R-OH), who founded the Cadet Nurse Corps and was born on March 29, 1885. A companion bill will be introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in the United States Senate.
“I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation today with my colleagues to honor the women who served in the Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “It’s only right that we recognize their actions and sacrifices, both at home and abroad, and grant them honorary veteran status. Our country is grateful for their service in its time of need and this piece of legislation is just one way we can express our appreciation for their efforts.”
“Dedicated members of the Cadet Nurse Corps stepped up when our country desperately needed them. With America facing a nursing shortage, they helped contribute to our victories in World War II,” Congressman Gianforte said. “Unfortunately, the federal government has not given them the recognition they rightfully deserve. This bipartisan bill honors their rich legacy and recognizes the sacrifices they made in service to our country.”
“We must recognize the valuable contributions of every American who has served, including members of the Cadet Nurse Corps. It is long past due that we recognize their courage and bravery, and I am proud to join my colleagues to grant Cadet Nurses the honorary veteran status they have earned and deserve,” said Congresswoman Axne.
“Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Cadet Nurse Corps, whose service in World War II was instrumental to American victories,” said Congressman Balderson. “These nurses’ honorable service merits their recognition as honorary veterans, and I’m proud to be part of the effort to commemorate them as such.”
“The Cadet Nurses answered the call of duty to fill a critical need during World War II,” said American Nurses Association President Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN. “We are proud to support this bill to acknowledge and recognize these women for their selfless service to their country.”
The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps was established in 1943 during World War II to address nursing shortages. Former Cadet Nurses have been longtime advocates for being granted honorary veteran status – which this specific bill does. This piece of legislation has garnered the support of organizations such as the American Nurses Association, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.