Honorable Steve Kagen, M.D.

Wisconsin's former 8th District Representative

January 4, 2007 to December 22, 2010

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Kagen Congratulates Appleton Veteran Ethel Sheffler


March 10, 2010    


Sheffler Awarded Congressional Gold Medal for World War II Service

WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. released the following statement regarding the award of Congressional Gold Medal to Appleton veteran Ethel Sheffler along with other Woman Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). 

“Today is not only a great day for Ethel, but a great day for our country.   For too long the service of WASPs went unrecognized and I’m proud that we are finally honoring such great and humble patriots.

“A member of the greatest generation, Ethel stepped up when her nation needed her with no expectation of a thank you, but today she gets the recognition that she so richly deserves.”

Sheffler and the rest of the WASPs flew noncombat missions during World War II to free up male pilots to fly overseas.  It is estimated that she is one of just 300 WASP aviators still alive today. 

The Congressional Gold Medal is an award bestowed by the United States Congress and is, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. The decoration is awarded to an individual who performs an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States.

WASPs were afforded veteran status in 1977 after a long fight, but were never considered members of the military.



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