Patty Blackwell, Facilities Services, US Air Force veteran, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, received the Outstanding Combat Female Veteran of North Carolina award. The honor was presented by the Combat Female Veterans Families United and the N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs on May 10, 2019, for her cumulative military service and post-war accomplishments. It was a joint ceremony presenting the 2019 N.C. DMVA Military Spouse of the Year & Outstanding Combat Female Veteran of North Carolina Inaugural Awards, held at the Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh.
Blackwell also marched in the televised National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 27, as a member of the National Desert Storm War Memorial group, approximately 400 strong.
During the Memorial Day event, Blackwell connected with other DS/DS veterans from all branches of service from the U.S. and coalition countries who were there to march in the parade, ride in Rolling Thunder (an advocacy group that strives for accountability of POW/MIAs), and most importantly honor those who gave their lives in military service to this country. This is her second parade, having marched last year as well.
“This year’s parade was even more important than last year, since the site for our memorial has been selected and dedicated at 23rd Street and Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., and we want to be visible in our support for the memorial honoring the 383 US military Gulf War dead,” Blackwell said. “Our coalition forces that supported us in the Gulf continue to support our efforts as well, with donations and military personnel from countries including Canada, Greece, and Australia marching with us.”
Blackwell is the co-chair of Meredith’s Honoring Women Veterans Committee, which plans the College’s annual Veterans Day event.