Memorial Day 2018: Three SoCal Moms Who Gave The Ultimate Sacrifice

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SoCal's Military Mom Heroes

In 1971, when Memorial Day became an official federal holiday, women were still not allowed to have pilot training. A year later that changed and in 1973, six Navy women won their wings and the designations as Naval aviators.

Currently, about 350,000 women comprise almost 15 percent of the active duty, reserve and guard units of the US Armed Forces.

Veteran groups have long complained that Americans associate Memorial Day as a summer rite of passage.

In Los Angeles, this year's Memorial Day Weekend celebrations range from the Topanga Days Country Fair to the Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Festival.

There are more formal rituals that take place nationwide, including hanging the American Flag at half-staff until midday on Memorial Day and pausing for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.

Today' we're dedicating our Mom Blogger WOWMOM feature to bring light to three servicewomen who were killed in battle. These women, left their hometowns in Southern California to serve our country and never returned, leaving children behind.

With gratitude and pride, we salute these brave SoCal Moms on Memorial Day 2018.

With information from the Los Angeles Times:

 

Florence B. Choe

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The 35-year old Navy Lieutenant was originally from El Cajon.

She was killed on March 27, 2009, in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom when an Afghan soldier opened fire at the military base where she was stationed.

Choe, whose father also served in the Navy, had decided to join the military just days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. First she volunteered for duty in Afghanistan, even though it meant a year away from her husband and their 3-year old daughter. She was eventually commissioned five months later. 

Choe was buried at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

 

Camella M. Steedley

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The Marines Sergeant from San Diego was stationed close to home at Camp Pendleton before being deployed to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Steedly was 31 years old when she was killed on October 3, 2012 supporting combat operations in Helmand province Afghanistan.

She had four children.

 

Eduviges G. Wolf

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The Hawthorne mom of two children was was an Army Sergeant when she was killed on October 25, 2009 in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

She served in the 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division . She and her husband Army Sgt. Josh Wolf were both deployed to Afghanistan a few months earlier and had left their two young daughters, Valeri and Isabel with their grandparents in South Dakota.

Wolf shared with her family that her time in Afghanistan was fulfilling and reenlisted for another three years just a week before she was killed.


To support Southern California's women veterans, you can donate to organizations such as the Foundation for Women Warriors of Southern California.

Every Mom Has A Story.

Anabel Marquez