Okaloosa County unveils monument honoring female veterans

Okaloosa County

OKALOOSA ISLAND, Fla. (WKRG) — Veterans Park in Okaloosa County is now filled with eight new bronze statues honoring women who served the United States military.

The Board of county commissioners (BCC), commanders at Hurlburt and Elgin Air Force bases, and hundreds of attendees packed the convention center for a Veterans Day presentation.

Following the speakers, the BCC cut the ribbon to the new park experience with Florida sculptor Jon Hair.

The project brings together centuries of history while also honoring the military presence that serves northwest Florida.

“As people have seen this is a wonderful way to have a nature trail but at the same time teach young men and women what women are capable of doing.”

Carolyn Ketchel, Chairman of the Okaloosa County Board

The park is located on Okaloosa Island. The county plans to add an educational tour element to the park, as well as a living shoreline to keep the area safe in storms.

You can read bios for all of the women honored here. Some dating back to the revolutionary war.

List of honorees:

  • Margaret Corbin (Revolutionary War, Army)
  • Cathay Williams (Civil War, Army)
  • Lenah Higbee (World War I, Navy)
  • Jacqueline Cochran (World War II, Air Force Reserves)
  • Jonita Ruth Bonham – Bovée (Korean War, Army Air Corps / Air Force)
  • Sharon Ann Lane (Vietnam War, US Army Nurse Corps Reserve)
  • Leigh Ann Hester (Persian Gulf War, Army National Guard)
  • Naseema (War in Afghanistan, US Air Force)

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