Tribute to Women in the Military Painting Dedicated

Honoring Women Who Served

Today, the St. Charles County Veterans Museum, proudly dedicated a specially commissioned painting from award winning local artist Linda Wilmes.  The painting is titled, A Tribute to Women in the Military and reflects the change in women’s role from support to equal participation.  

Pastor Chris Highfill, Grace River Church opened the ceremony with an invocation.  

Terri Violet (US Navy Veteran) introduced our guest speaker Betty Gonzales, USMC veteran and first woman commander of the Department of Missouri American Legion.  Betty implored women veterans to share their stories to the public.  Over 60 people attended the ceremony which featured 16 women veterans.  Sam Saffa, St. Louis District Director for Senator Josh Hawley, Jennifer Meyer, Field Representative for Senator Roy Blunt and the Mayor of St. Peters Len Pagano lent their support and recognized the women veterans for their contributions.  

Renee Essary (USAF veteran) introduced Linda Wilmes and Ella Mateja (Ella’s Fearless Heroes Lemonade Stand) whose fundraising efforts made the painting possible.  

The closing prayer was by Chaplin Cheryl Darlington from American Legion Post 404.  

Flag Placement was performed by Vietnam Veterans of American Post 458.  

The Caroline Close Stuart Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution were dressed in period costumes including MASH uniforms and Rosie the Riveter.  

After the speeches, our guests enjoyed refreshments and toured the new exhibits and the Tribute to Women Veterans painting.  

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.