Madam Speaker, today I rise to honor the courage and commitment of women who have served and continue to serve in defense of our Nation. Today, we will be voting on an appropriations bill to limit and restrict women in the military. How ironic.
Tomorrow, women Members of Congress, from this Congress, will be attending the eighth annual Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues' wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. The event is an annual opportunity to recognize women who play and have played a critical role in the Armed Forces, both in times of war and peace, and currently now in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Our troops and all of our servicewomen deserve our utmost respect for protecting our freedom. As of March 2005, an estimated 203,000 women serve in our U.S. military and another 142,000 women serve in the reserve units in the U.S. Armed Forces. These women give of themselves and make extraordinary sacrifices.
The Congressional Caucus of Women's Issues is committed to supporting women in our Armed Forces. As Democratic Chair of that women's caucus, I want to thank all the servicewomen for their unyielding courage, selfless commitment, and long-standing dedication to our military and our country. Let us remember them over the Memorial Weekend.