WASHINGTON — Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Dist.1, on Tuesday announced that “I Am Not Invisible”— a powerful exhibit featuring the stories and contributions of Oregon’s women veterans — has arrived in Washington, D.C. It will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol through Thursday.
After seeing the exhibit in Oregon, Merkley and Bonamici were instrumental in getting the display — which was organized by the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Portland State University.
“All too often, the role of women veterans is left out of the conversation. The ‘I Am Not Invisible’ exhibit seeks to change that by highlighting the sacrifices and achievements twenty incredible women veterans have made at home and abroad,” said Merkley in a news release. “Our country owes women veterans a huge debt of gratitude, and I’m proud to bring this homegrown Oregon exhibit to our nation’s capital.”
“Women in the military serve our country with the same courage, dedication, and valor as their male counterparts, yet too often they are made to feel invisible,” said Bonamici. “I’m proud to join Senator Merkley in bringing the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ beautiful photo exhibit, ‘I Am Not Invisible,’ to Congress so our colleagues can see the faces of Oregon’s women veterans. Our country is stronger because women serve in our armed forces, and I am grateful to the thousands of women servicemembers who protect our national security every day.”
More than 28,000 women veterans live in Oregon, representing nearly one-tenth of Oregon’s veteran population. While the number of women veterans has grown steadily in recent decades, women veterans still encounter significant barriers accessing health care and other services, and often face a lack of recognition for their service.